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New Delhi, the 29th August 1949 

No. 36/3/48-F. — The question of having an enquiry, into the film 
industry has been attracting for some time past increasing public 
attention and has more than once been brought to the notice of the 
Government of India. The last enquiry into the film industry was 
held as long ago as 1927-28 and since then the industry has grown 
considerably. Having regard to the importance of the cinema in 
modern life and the magnitude and complexity of the problems 
relating to films the Government of India consider it essential to 
have a thorough enquiry conducted by a special committee which can 
investigate the whole position and suggest means by which this 
important industry can be put on a sound footing and be developed 
as a medium of education and healthy entertainment. 

2. The Government of India have therefore decided to appoint a 
Film Enquiry Committee with the following terms of reference: — 

(1) To enquire into the growth and the organisation of the 

film industry in India and to iiWicate the lines on 
which further development should be directed. 

(2) To examine what measures should be adopted to enable 

films in India to develop into an eflective instrument 
for the promotion, of national culture, education and 
healthy entertainment. 

(3) To enquire into the possibility of manufacture of raw 

film and cinematograph equipment in Indij and to 
indicate what standards and principles should be 
adopted for the import of raw film and equipment and 
for floatation of new Companies. 

3. The Committee will be composed as follows: — 


Shri S. K. Patil, Member, Constituent Assembly. 


Shri M. Satyanarayana, Member, Constituent Assembly. 

Shri V. Shantaram, Rajkamal Kalamandir Ltd., Bombay. 

Shri B. N. Sircar, New Theatres Ltd., Calcutta. 

Dr. R. P. Tripathi, Head of the History Department, Allahabad 

Shri V. Shankar, I.C.S., representing Information and Broadcast- 
ing Ministry. 

Shri S. Gtopalan will act as Secretary to the Committee. 


4. The Committee will visit important centres and will take 
evidence in accordance with the terms of reference. Persons who 
desire to be called as witnesses should apply in writing to the Secre- 
tary, Film Enquiry Committee, c/o Ministry of Information and 
Broadcasting, Govjjinment of India, New Delhi, giving their full 
names and addresses together with a brief memorandum on the 
points on which they desire to give evidence. It will of course rest 
with the Committee to decide what evidence they will hear. 


Ordered that a copy of the above Resolution be published in the 
Gazette of India and communicated to the Ministries of the Govern- 
ment of India, the Cabinet Secretariat, the Prime Minister’s Secre- 
tariat, and to all Provincial Governments and Administrations and to 
the Ministry of States for communication to States and States Unions 
and a copy be also forwarded to the Secretary to the Committee for 
the information of the Committee. 

P. C. Chaudhuri, 
Secretary to the Govt, of India. 




1— 4 



S— 11 



!17— 19 

Official Rosolut ion setting up the Committee 
Preliminary work .... 

The questionnaires .... 

Early difficulties .... 

Response to the qiiestionnaires 
Taking of oral evidence 
Other sources of information 
Observations of other Committees. 

Need for periodical survey of the industry 
Tlie basis of recommendations 
Acknowledgment . . : . 














The early enquiry ....... 

State of the indiistry in 1928 ...... 

The Report of the Committee .... 

State assistance to the industry 

Advent of sound in motion pictures .... 

Natural “protix*tion” in the industry ... 

Factors contributing to growth of industry , . , . 

War-time development ...... 

Industry after the War .... 

Production maintains progress ...... 

Present posi'.ion of the indusUy, somvJ facts am. fig ir.:: 

Lack of employment statistics ..... 

Position of industry at a glance .... 


48 — 60 Film production . • • , , , 

61 Storage of inBammable film* . 

62 Exhibition of fdma ..... 

63 State supervision of film production ; . 

64 Storage and transport of film 
66 Transport of inflamable film 

66 Tlie Indian Cinematograph Act . . . 

67 Certification of films for exhibition 

38 — 60 CedKiral and State certification . • , 

61 Codes for guidance : uniformity in administration 

62 Human factor in oensorship 

63 General principles 

64 “A** & “U*» Certificates ^ . 

66 The work of the Boards J • 

































Powers of the State Gk>veniment . 




Compulaory exhibition of films ^ . 




Exliibition of approved films 




Exhibition of uncertified films 





Scrutiny of publicity mai/Crial j 




Scnitiny of scripts .... 




Scrutiny of film for expert . 






Licensing of theaires — Tlie licensing' authority 



Discretionary powers .... 




Virtual ban on construction of cinema houses 



Kight of appeal ..... 



Kegulations governing cinemas 



Kules for safety and public health 



Floor area 






Passages and corridors 






Gangways, aisle length and aisle'spaoing 



Ventilation . . • - • 



Sanitary arrangements 




Fire precautions 



Facilities for parking vehicles 



Cleanliness in the auditorium 



Structural soundness of building . 



Clear vision 



projection booths .... 



Inspection and enforcement . • 



Entertainment tax • • • . 



Methods of assessment and collection 



Taxation by local bodies 



Copyright protection .... 



Existing protection for film . 



Copyright of film content 



Protection of rights in fil^i content 



Copyright in subject matter . 






The film as a means of commimicBtion . . . 



Tliefilm as a work of Art . 




The film as a product of industry j 




Prejudice against the film . . • 



WliBt is ^tertainxnent ? . . , 




“ Realism *’ and escape ” 




Propaganda through entertainment 




Entertainment value as criterion • 



Effect of film on mass mind 




Psychology of condemnatoxy criticiam . 







Responsibility of eldors • • • 









1 38.139 




















Tho appoal of tko filn 

Pysoliological effect of film themcB ^ 

Tlie proper role of films ..... 
How are pictures chosen T . 

Film in relation to the audienco .... 

Fallacy of costs and popularity .... 

Effect of audience demands ..... 

Appeal to tho industiy^ ..... 

Tlio short film : Govomment initiative . 

Information Films of India ..... 

Production of newsreels ..... 

Gaboon Film Unit ...... 

Establishment of Films Division .... 

Use of films in oducation ..... 

Lack of electricity in rural areas .... 

Abolition of import duty ..... 

Production of educat ional films with Indian background 
Silent films ....... 

Nee d for film libraries ..... 

Instruct i< n in the use of films, etc. 

Pyschological effects of films : need for research . 
Production of films specially for children 
Narrative form bettor appreciated 

Children in cinemas 

Effect of films on children ..... 


185—198 Film production 

199— 201 Artistic talent ....... 

202—205 Central Bureau of story material .... 

206 Shortage of “ stars 

207 Appearance of “ stws ** in several pictures at a time 
208—210 Handicaps to emotional expression 

311 212 Organisation of artistes ..... 

213 214 Training of artistas ...... 

215-216 Production : technicians and their qualifications 
217—219 Facilities for training teoluiicians . . . . 

220 Selection of students and number to be trained 

221 Unemployment among trained technicians 

222 Difficulties of providing advanced training abroad . 

223—226 Tlie film director 

227 — 233 Licensing of directors ..... 

234—236 Standards of skill and wages .... 
•37 246 The Factories Act and overtime employment . 

247 Production problems «.•••• 

248 The writer, the producer and the director 

249 Budgeting . 

250 Discussion with technicians and artistes 






4i> . 

































The shooting schedule » i ♦ . . 



252-2 “i5 

U. S. production Code Adininisfcralion 



Advantages of prior scrutiny .... 


S57 -258 

The cost of a film ••••.. 




Heads of exi)en<Uture ...... 


&6l— •.63 

Studio and production overheads 



Economy of using more than one stage 


268 -269 

Delay due to “ s ars ” ..... 



Other items in production costs .... 



“ Padding ’’ of budgets and “ black ** payments (o artistu.x 



Rostricl ion on over- time orn|>loymonl- 


276 -277 

Optimum volume of produc- ion .... 



Working capital for production .... 



Turnover of capital 



Usage factor of capital • • • . . 



Financing rates ...... 



The consoquonces of difficulties in financing . 


285 -286 

Joint stock companies ..... 



Block account and stock-in-trade 



Spread of market risks . . . 



Financing by scheduled banks .... 



Ploughing in the profits ..... 



Film finance in the U. S. A. 



Film finance in tho U. K. 



Financing of production by exhibition iiiterobus . 



The Indian problem ...... 


295 -296 

Supervision of production n pro-requisite 



Need and machinery for regulation of production 



Distributioii excluded from finance proposal 



Suggestions for raising capital .... 



Distribution of films ...... 



Financing distribution ..... 



Cost of publicity ...... 



Desirability of gradual reduction of cosw 






S36 -337 Emergence of distributor as a’ sopar ite entity 

33l^ Responso to questionn ure { .... 

339 Organisation of distributors .... 
34(V— 347 Complaint against producers and exhibit rs 
S4^-^350 Export of Indian films ..... 
361—353 Export of films to Pakistan .... 
854—356 Re-import of films : Difficulties of customs regulations 
367—358 How United Kingdom solved difficulty 
869 Free Export of unexposed film negative 






Paras. Pagss 

Import and Distribution of Foreign Films. 

360 Volume of trade in foreign films ..... 123 

361-362 Distribution in India ........ 123 

363 Regulation of imports ....... 125 

364 — 366 Revenue of foreign film importers ..... 125 

367-368 Customs duty negligible . . . . . . . 126 

Film Distribution. 

869- -373 Taxation 127 


374 — 390 Film exhibit i.>n ....... 129 

391-— 393 Employment in Ciremas ....... 135 

394- -395 Pr jocti n quality ....... 136 

396 — 407 Length <,f films ........ 1.37 

408—409 Entertainment tax : present tt riffs ..... 140 

410-416 Taxes an d admissi m prices ...... 141 


417 419 Imp rts ,jf raw film ....... 144 

420-422 War time restrict i tns and Controls ..... ’45 

423 425 Postwar demand for m re film ..... 146 

426 Requiroment and control of the market .... 147 

427-428 Availability from soft currency areas . . . . . 148 

429 Import control ....... 148 

430-431 Colour film ........ 149 

432-433 Sources of supply 149 

434-435 Economy in consumption . • • . . . . 150 

430-437 Foreign currency requirements ...... 150 

438 Distribution of raw film ....... 151 

439 — >441 Categories of raw film consumers ..... 152 

442-443 Manufacture of raw film in India 153 

444 Characteristics of raw film ...... 153 

445 Safety bASo film 154 

446 Recommendations of the panel on plastics ... 154 

447 Stages of manufacture 154 

448- -451 Foreign currency savings •*••••• 155 

452 Finishing plant possibilitiea ...... 157 

453 Coating of imported film base 157 

454 Manufacture of emulsions ••••... 158 

456 Film base 158 

Studio Equipment. 

466 Categories of equipment 

467 Equipment in present studios 

468 Photographic equipment 

469 Baok projection' . • * • 

460 Lights and fittings . . 



169 . 






InoaadeBoeat lamps •••••«.* 



Aro lamps . • 



Import requiremeats 



Sound recording equipment 


. 466 

Editing and play-back maohin33 ...... 


467 468 

Laboratory equipment ....... 



Printing machines aeasitometers, etc. . 



Miscellaneous equipment ....... 


471 472 

Stores and spare parts 


CnaMcoALS iron thb Film Industbt 

473 474 

Photographic chemicals ....... 


475 476 

Processing of colour film ....... 



Standardisation of quality ....... 



Enforceunent of standards ....... 


Theatbb Pbojbotion Equifmbnt 

479 480 

Roquirements of the industry ...... 


481 — 48S 

Manufacture in India . ...... 

• 166 


Progressive manufacture ....... 



Phasing of programme ....... 



Stores and spares ........ 




Recapitulation of the state of the industry .... 



Negative attitude of Government ..... 



Picture of prosperity at the end of the War .... 


499 500 

Whore industry is at fault ....... 



OlTicial apathy 



Standards of film journalism ...... 



Ci.mraa goer’s voice ; ineffootivo and imorganisod 



Quality of fiUms- technical and artistic .... 



Standard of historicals and my thologicals .... 



Comedies just parodies ....... 



Impact of star” craze 



1 Inappropriato music 



Indiscriminate dance sequences ...... 



Designing of sets and planning of dresses .... 



Requirements of children neglected ..... 



“ Shorts** and newsreel ....... 



Tribute to pioneers and outstanding achievements 



D q)lorabl0 exhibition standards ...... 



610 -628 

Rjcom n3.odations 




Film Counoil 






Statutory powers . . . * • . . . . 


Fab A8. 

1^32 Reaaaroh 

332 (a) Studio* 

533 Coatrol over produotioB 

534 Training inatitutions ••••,. 

535 Story Bureau 
538 Coating Bureau 

537 ! Educational panel ....... 

538 Short film* panel 

539 .JEizhibition panel 

540 Film Fund , 

541-542 Associations and Guild* 

543-544 Proluotioa Code Administration ..... 
545 — 547 Secrecy of production 

548 Scrutiny to avoid wastage 

549—551 Saving of raw film consumption ..... 

552 Government supervision and control 

553 Central oontrot of in luatry ••••,. 

554 ; The Constitution Act ...... 

■555—531 ' Coat ralUation of responsibility ..... 

5fi2 — 563 Finance ......... 

664 Taxation ......... 

565 Import duty on raw materials and machinery 
666 — 672 Entertainment tax . . . . . 

573 Certification fees ....... 

574 Octroi and termin taxes. 

575 Internal customs duty ...... 

576 J Police charges ....... 

577 Licence fees 

578 ’ Show tax ........ 

579 580 Income-tax ....... 

583 Revenues : allocation . . . . . 

584 — 591 Revenues : augmentation 

592—596 Cotnpetition fro'm foreign films ..... 

697 — 605 Training ixistitutions 

606-607 Production of short films 

Supply op Raw Matbbials and Equipment 

Raw film 

612-613 Studio equipment . • 

614 Controlled materials . . . . ^ . . 

615 Chemicals 

616 Theatre projection equipment 

617 Arc lamp carbons 

618 Techn dogtoal research 

619 Tcsting^f nitrate film for deterioration 

620 ] Manufhoture of photographic gelatine 

*621 Emulsion teohnology 

fi22 Sensitizing ohennosls 

<623 Gelatine substitutes 

624 Plasticisers for acetate film • 

625 Manufacture of colour film 

626 Light sooxses 

627-628 Production of stereosoopio images on the screen 

629— 632 Certification of films .... 

633—^37 Short films ...... 

638 — 642 Educational use of films • • . . 

643~H549 Critical appreciation of films 


l(t) Provincial/State Taxation and the film industry 

I(n) FUm censorship ......... 

I(tu) Film production and distribution ...... 

I(tt>) Cinema theatres and travelling cinemas .... 

Il(t) Questionnaire on 1 he Film Industry ..... 

n(M‘) Questionnaire on the Film and tho Public .... 

III Associations and individuals who sent written memoranda in 

reply to part I of the Committee’s Questionnaire dealing with 
the film Industry . . . . . . . 

IV Individuals who replied to part II of the Committee’s (Ques- 

tionnaire “The film and the public ** .... 

V LiHt of witneFscs who gave (oral) evidence 

VI Extracts from Cinematograph Film niles, 1948 framed under 

the Petroleum Act, 1934 ..... 

VII Indian Railway Conference Association Red Tariff No. 16 

VIII-^ Censorship : 

(i) Suggestion indicating probable objections to films by 
Bombay Board ........ 

(ii) List of film subjects likely to be considered objectionable 
by Bengal Board ........ 

(iii) The Motion Pictures Censorship Code, Madras 

IX Statistics of film censored by State Boards .... 

X Summary of export restrictions on films in foreign countries 

XI Entertainment tax tariffs in force in different States 

XII Statement showing entertainment tax collection in different 


XIII Statement of production of feature films produced and censored 

in Bombay, M dras, Calcutta and Punjab on language b sis 

XIV Production of feature films from 1939-1949 

XV The Pmduction Code ........ 

XVI Allocation of production costs 

XVn Statement showing the growth of cinemas as well as tlieir 

regional distribution on a deoeinial basis from 1928-1950 

XVIII Advertising Code for motion pictures and regulations for the 

administration . . . . . 

XIX Distribution of films in the Indian Union .... 


































Official Resolution setting up the Conunittee.— The Film Enquiry 
Committee was constituted by a Resolution of the Government of 
India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, No. 36/3/4a-f , 
dated New Delhi, the 29th August 1949, which reads as follows:— 

“The question of having an enquiry into the film industry has 
been attracting for some time past increasing public attention and 
has more than once been brought to the notice of the Government 
of India. The last enquiry into the film industry was held as long 
ago as 1927-28, and since then the industry has grown considerably. 
Having regard to the importance of the cinema in modern life and 
the magnitude and complexity of the problems relating to films, the 
Government of India consider it essential to have a thorough enquiry 
conducted by a special Committee which can investigate the whole 
position and suggest means by which this important industry can be 
put on a sound footing and be developed as a medium of education 
and healthy entertainment. 

“The Government of India have, therefore, decided to appoint a 
Film Enquiry Committee with the following terms of reference:— 

(1) To enquire into the growth and the organisation of the 

Film industry in India and to indicate the lines on which 
further de\^lopment should be directed. 

(2) To examine what measures should be adopted to enable 

films in India to develop into an effective instrument 
for the promotion of national culture, education and 
healthy entertainment. 

(3) To enquire into the possibility of manufacture of raw film 

and cinematograph equipment in India and to indicate 
what standards and principles should be adopted for 
the import of raw film and equipment and for floatation 
of new Companies. 

The Committee will be composed as follows ; — 


Shri S. K. Patil, Member, Constituent Assembly. 


Shri M. Satyanarayana, Member, Constituent Assembly. 

Shri V. Shantaram, Rajkamal Kalamandir Ltd., Bombay. 

Shri B. N. Sircar, New Theatres Ltd., Calcutta. 

Dr. R. P. Tripathi, Head of the History Department, Allahabad 


Shri V. Shankar, I.C.S., repretenting Information and Broad- 
casting Ministry. 


Shri S. Gopalan will act as Secretary to the Committee. 

“The Committee will visit important centres and take evidence 
in accordance with the terms of reference. Persons who desire to 
toe called as witnesses should apply in writing to the Secretary, Film 
Enquiry Committee, C/o Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 
Government of India, New Delhi, giving their full names and 
addresses together with a brief memorandum on the points on which 
they desire to give evidence. It will, of course, rest with the Com- 
mittee to decide what evidence they will hear”. 

2. Prior to the issue of this resolution, the Press and representatives 
of the industry had urged the setting up of a Film Enquiry Com- 
mittee. The necessity of holding a tl^orough enquiry into the state 
of the film industry was explained by the Hon’ble Shri R. R. Diwakar, 
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, during the 
Budget debate in the Constituent As.sembly (Legislative) on 26th 
March, 1949. He said, “As regards the film industry as a whole, a 
thorough enquiry in this country is overdue — the last enquiry was 
held in 1928. A Committee would be set up early to go into all the 
various aspects of the question.” 

The announcement was well received. 

3. The appointment of the Committee was thus in recognition of 
both the urgency and the importance of an enquiry into all aspects 
of the film industry. The terms of reference were apparently kept 
wide and comprehensive in order to enable the Committee to cover 
all the aspects of this important branch of national activity. 

4. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet, and also by the 
Standing Committee of the Legislature attached to the Ministry of 
Information and Broadcasting. 

5. Preliminary work. — ^After the terms of reference and the per- 
sonnel had been announced by the end of August 1949, the Committee 
lost no time in settling down to business. The first meeting was held 
in Bombay on 1st September, 1949, to discuss the preliminaries. The 
pre-requisite of an enquiry into this industry was found to be the 
collection of complete up to date statistics, but these, unfortunately, 
were not readily available, being scattered and often submerged in 
official backwaters or concealed in trade channels. The first step of 
the Committee was to collect all the figures from the Governments 
of various States, and after a week, another meeting was held in 
Bombay to discuss and frame the questionnaire to be issued to the 
State Governments for the supply of figures. (Vide Appendix 1 : 
■Questionnaire to State Governments). It was also,^ decided to ask 
for written memoranda from all persons engaged in the industry, 
from members of the public, including educationists, ciRtural and 
social workers, ' id from officials in charge of the administration of 
the rules and regulations governing the various aspects of the film. 

6. The questionnaires. — Subsequently, the Committee met in 
Delhi on 15th and 16th October to examine the draft questionnaire. 
It was finalised after discussion, in the form in which it was issued, 


in two parts, one relating to the film industry and the other devoted 
to the nlm in relation to the public. (Appendix II: Questiomiaire 
to Industry and Public). Copies of both parts of the questionnaire 
were printed and sent to all film organisations ahd associations of 
producers, exhibitors and distributors, as well as to individual firms 
engaged in any of these branches of work and to editors of film 
journals. The questionnaire on the “Film and the Public” was sent 
to all educatonal, scientific and cultural organisations, to Members 
of Parliament, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, and principals of 
colleges, editors of newspapers and to officials generally concerned 
with education and with the administration of the Indian Cinemato- 
graph Act. 

7. Early difficulties. — The Committee were initially handicapped 
by some misunderstanding on the part of some representative associa- 
tions of the industry, who felt that they should have been consulted 
on the selection of the personnel of the Committee and also expressed 
doubts whether, in the absence of experts in finance or specialists 
in the technical side being directly associated as members, the Com- 
mittee could comprehend and appreciate the special difficulties and 
peculiar problems of the industry. The misunderstandings, however, 
were subsequently cleared, thanks to the goodwill and understanding 
shown by leaders of the industry at l^f^bay and their appreciation 
of the efforts of the Chairman. It was pointed out that the composi- 
tion of the Committee was obviously a matter solely for the Govern- 
ment of India to decide, and the selection of members had necessarily 
to be made, keeping in view more the need for a judicious and 
independent Committee who would give due weight to the views of 
all persons and organisation than for giving direct representation 
for the industry as such. ^#Phe suggestioi^ that specialists should be 
co-opted by the Committee was not considered necessary, but the 
Government gave an assurance that the Committee would consult 
experts on specific issues. A panel of such experts was constituted 
in consultation with the industry, and the Committee wish to 
acknowledge the full cooperation which these experts have given 

8. Response to the questionnaires. — ^The controversy caused some 
delay in the receipt of written memoranda from the members of the 
industry, and the Committee consequently decided to extend the 
time limit for the receipt of the replies till the end of January 1950. 
From the initially poor response to the questionnaires, it was 
•obvious that there was insufficient appreciation by the industry and 
the public in general of the scope, functions and importance of the 
enquiry. To enable the various interests to appreciate the Com- 
mittee’s task better, it was decided to get into closer touch with 
representatives of the industry at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. 
The Committee’s visit to these places in February and March, 1950, 
bore fruit. Better understanding with the members of the industry 
was established and greater interest was aroused in the public 
resulting in substantial response and co-operation with the Com- 
mittee in the discharge of its' duties. The following statement shows 
the number of questionnaires issued to the various categories of the 
industry : — 

To whom sent Number sent 

Producers 450 

Distributors 600 

Exhibitors 2.000 

Cine technicians 350 

Cine employees 50 

Cine importers 25 

Distributors of imported films 15 

Short film producers 10 

Film chambers and associations 100 

Studio and Laboratory owners 30 


9. The names of those who sent in written memoranda in response 
to the questionnaire on Film Industry are given in Appendix III. 
The magnitude of the response is really larger than is indicated by the 
number of replies received; most of the firms and individuals engaged 
in the industry are members of one or the other associations in the 
country, and the detailed memoranda received from each of these 
associations represent the collective views of scores of individual 
members, who have taken interest in the subject and whose ideas 
and suggestions have been incorporated in the memoranda furnished 
by the associations. 

10. The questionnaire on the sociological a.spects of the film was 
fairly well received by Press, and^jjpere were suggestions that 
it should have been given even wider publicity and circulation. 
Actually, in addition to the 3,630 copies sent to people engaged in 
the industry, 3,510 copies more were distributed as follows: — 

To whom sent Number sent 

1. Members of Parliament 300 

2. Legislators (States) 1,2.50 

3. Office-bearers of cultural organisations 600 

4. Universities (Vice-Chancellors and 

Registrars) 50 

5. Principals of Colleges 750 

6. Associations of Headmasters and Teachers 10 

7. Licensing authorities 2-50 

8. Members of Censor Boards 150 

9. The Press 150 


11. The names of those who sent in written memoranda in reply 
to the questionnaire on Film and the Public are given in Appendix 


12. TaMng of oral evidence. — ^After a study of the written memo- 
randa received from all the sources, the Committee held its sessions 
at Allahabad, Delhi (twice), Bombay (twice). Bangalore, Calcutta, 
Madras, Lucknow, Poona, Patna and Nagpur to take oral evidence 
from members of the public, persons employed or engaged in the 
industry and officials of the Central and State Governments. The 
number of witnesses examined at each of these centres is given 
below ; — 

(Their names are to be found in Appendix V.) 

Station visited Number of Nnmb >r of 

days wi‘ nesses 

Oa . li led 


New Delhi (1st session) 

Bonibi.y (1st session) 




New Delhi (2nd session) 

Bombay (2ad session) 



















A large volume of evidence was thus collected to supplement the 
information gathered earlier in the form of written memoranda, and 
the statistics received from the State Governments. 

13. Other sources of information.— -In addition to the data collected 
in tbir country, the Committee have had the benefit of information 
regarding the film industry in the United States, United Kingdom 
and countries of Western Europe and East Asia, collected by the 
Chairman who visited important centres in these areas. This material 
has been of great value to the Committee in making a comparative 
study of the position of the film industry in India and abroad. The 
Committee have also had the use of information collected by 
Shrimati Anasuya JNadkarni, who was engaged in the study of the 
film industry in the U.S.A., and who undertook the task voluntarily,, 
and completed it in a spirit of help and co-operation, which the 
Committee deeply appreciate. 

14. In spite of the efforts made to secure the active interest and 
co-operation of the representatives of the industry and of the public, 
the actual response to our questionnaires fell short of our expecta- 
tions. The co-operation of the people engaged in various branches of 
the industry, however, was encouraging. This cannot unfortunately 


be said of legislators, educationists and social workers. The Com- 
mittee sent out over 1,500 copies of the questionnaire to legislators 
of the Union Parliament and State legislatures. Not more than ten 
replied to the questionnaire. Similarly, over 800 copies of the ques^ 
tionnaire were sent to educationists, but the response was only 
about ten per cent. Nevertheless thanks are due to the few legis- 
lators and educationists who accepted our invitation and gave oral 
evidence before the Committee. 

15. Observations of other Committees. — The Committee have also 
had the advantage of studying the observations of other Committees 
constituted elsewhere with a similar purpose of examining some of 
the problems now under survey in India. Special mention must be 
made of the UNESCO Committee on Technical Needs of the Press. 
Film and the Radio, the Committees appointed by the Board of 
Trade in the United Kingdom, to investigate the distribution and 
exhibition of cinematograph films and to study film production 
costs, and another Committee appointed by the Home Department to- 
examine the effect of films on children in the United Kingdom as 
well as the U.S. Committee on Motion Pictures in Education appoint- 
ed by the American Council of Education. 

16. Need for periodical survey of the industry. — The handicap of 
lack of reliable scientific and complete data and the absence of re- 
search on certain fundamental issues connected with both the film 
industry and the film in relation to the public, was felt throughout 
the enquiry and in their recommendations, the Committee have 
stressed the need for special efforts to remedy this serious defect. In 
view of the important place which the film occupies in modern life, 
the Committee wish to emphasise the need for conducting a periodic 
enquiry into the statistics and trends of the film industry. Irrespec- 
tive of sectional or personal prejudices, the film has come to stay. It 
is claiming an increasing number of patrons and votaries, and neglect 
to apply periodic correctives to this important formative medium, 
would be culpable failure in the discharge of an essential public duty. 

17. The basis of recommendations. — ^The difficulties which we ex- 
perienced in securing the co-operation and response both of the in- 
dustry and the general public have been indicated earlier and the 
lack of adequate information and authoritative statistics of the indus- 
try has also been commented upon. It must be observed with regret 
that oral evidence has also not been on the whole sufficiently well- 
informed and helpfully constructive. This has \mdoubtedly added 
to our task and we cannot claim that all our recommendations have 
been tested on the touchstone of experience or have in many cases 
the authority of the industry or people competent to speak on the 
subject. We have, however, the consolation that on a subject of 
such violent controversy, the industry cannot claim the monopoly of 
knowledge and wisdom, nor the general public a voice of competence 
and authority. On the other hand, we have found in the industry 
an luifortunate tendency to ascribe all its difficulties to external 
factors as opposed to those within the competence of the industry 
itself to regulate and control, to dramatise or over-emphasise certain 
evils without being able to suggest any clear-cut remedies, or to 
suggest remedies at somebody else’s or public expense rather than 
at its own. To some extent this attitude is conditioned by the cir- 
cumstances prevailing in the industry itself but the daxigers of those 


living in glass-houses casting stones at others or of applying correc- 
tives to everyone else but themselves, are obvious. In addition, we 
also noticed a general reluctance to accept the inexorable pressure of 
logic becar^e of the countervailing instinct of self-preservation or 
an inclination to ignore facts because they did not suit the theory of 
laissez faire or the particular industrial or trade practices which 
apparently yield dividends. We also found different parts of the 
trade and industry speaking at cross-purposes or to their mutual 
contradiction. At the same time, we must acknowledge that persis- 
tence and persuasion on our part often succeeded in breaking down 
the barriers of prejudice or removing the clouds of suspicion and 
hesitation. There was at times refreshing candour or self-reproach 
both of which resulted in considerably eliminating any atmosphere of 
unreality or vagueness. 

18. The approach of the general public has also been, on the whole, 
far from being comprehensive or well-instructed. There was greater 
stress on- individual views than on public interests. While there was 
a general undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the existing order of 
things, there was no clear conception of its causes or the means 
necessary to remove it. There was, however, a practical unanimity 
on the important role which films have come to play in national life, 
their big potentialities for the public good, and the need for a proper 
regulation of, and direction to, film enterprise. We found witnesses- 
of this category generally critical ’of the conditions in cinemas but 
unrepentant of their cinema-going habits. 

19. It has not, therefore, been an easy or simple task to deal with 
our comprehensive terms of reference in relation to the conflicting 
evidence, documentary or oral, tendered before us. The conclusions 
we have set out in the body of the report and the recommendations 
we have made are thus based on a general analysis and assessment 
of the facts, views and suggestions placed before us, and they deal 
with what we consider to be the major issues covered by our terms 
of reference. We feel that in an inquiry of this nature, where a 
very large volume of evidence and data has to be comprehended, 
weighed and evaluated, and many divergent or conflicting opinions 
have to 1^ reconciled, accepted or discarded, it is not practicable 
to be meticulously detailed or to examine each variation in practice 
from onenart of the country to another, or to suggest a solution for 
every difficulty that might have been encountered in the past, much 
less to devise means of eliminating every conceivable defect in 
future. Nor would it be reasonable to expect us to pronounce on 
each pet theory or opinion howsoever strongly held by individuals, 
journals, or associations, or to give reasons for every statement that 
we make. We have tried to be as objective and comprehensive as 
possible to avoid missing the wood for the trees. We have endeavour- 
ed to separate the grain from the chaff that unfortunately abounds 
in discussions and dissertations on this controversial subject and to 
steer our course clear of the many conflicting interests and prejudices 
which are apt to cloud one’s judgment over important issues arising 
in this industry. We hope and trust that those who will assess the 
value and utility of these recommendations will make a similar 
sympathetic approach to the many problems which we have discussed 
and covered in the report. We would like to warn the Government, 
the industry and the general public alike that in the treatment of 


few other subjects is there greater need for a clear perspective, a 
wide horizon, unbiased approach and a scientific outlook. 

20. Acknowledgment.— Before we conclude this Chapter, we 
should like to acknowledge the debt we owe to our Secretary, Shri S. 
Gopalan, and our staff for the untiring labour they put in and the 
zeal and devotion with which they helped us to complete our task. 
Shri Gopalan’s help, in particular, has been most valuable to us 
His encylopaedic knowledge of the facts,- figures and problems of 
the industry, his valuable contacts, his intimate and close study of 
the films both Indian and foreign, his ability and grasp have been 
such an asset to us. Towards the latter part of our work, particularly 
during the drafting stage, he has had to bear a double burden; he has 
borne it cheerfully even though it involved over-time exertions. Our 
Assistant Secretary, Shri P. N. V. Rao, was with us for seven months; 
he succeeded well in sharing and lightening Shri Gopalan’s burden. 
On our Reporters and Stenographers has fallen the brunt of work 
of a nature which is often tedious and mostly iminteresting; they 
have done their part well. To one and all of these we are grateful 
for all that they did for us. 



I 21. The earlier enquiry.— The production, distribution and exhibi- 
jj,* tion of cinematograph films in India was the subject of an enquiry 
-by a Committee appointed by the Government of India in 1927, with 
Shri T. Rangachari as Chairman. The terms of reference of the 
i; Indian Cinematograph Committee were, however, rather narrow, 
5 motivated by a particular purpose and confined to an examination of 
the system of censorship then in force, a survey of the existing orga- 
nisation for the exhibition and production of films, and a consider- 
ation of the desirability of measures for encouraging the exhibition 
of films produced within the British Empire and in particular the 
; production and exhibition of Indian films. The Committee toured 
the country, which then included Burma and Pakistan and submitted 
■a comprehensive report to the Government. Therein, they have 
traced in detail the development of the film industry in India from 
its early beginnings right up to 1928, when their report was present- 
ed. We need, therefore, confine ourselves to a recapitulation of the 
position of the industry in 1928. 

22. State of the industry in 1928. — At that time, there were only 
346 permanent cinemas in the country, of which 309 worked all round 
the year and 37 operated seasonally. There were, in addition, 116 
travelling cinemas distributed in different areas of the country. 
Excluding the territory which now forms Burma and Pakistan, the 
number of permanent cinemas in the India of today could be 
estimated at 230 and the number of travelling cinemas at 90. Of 
these cinemas, only a few in Bombay, showed Indian films exclu- 
sively; the majority showed both Indian and foreign films, while 
about 50 cinemas showed only foreign films. The production of films 
in India was also small, averaging about 80 features per year. The 
screen was silent in those days, and provided the stories were suit- 
able, films could be shown in different linguistic areas with suitable 
sub-titles and captions. The footage of foreign films shown in India 
\ was about seven times the total Indian production. Boards of censor- 
; ship situated at Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Rangoon, examined 

5 both foreign and Indian films, and the total length of film examined 

i at the first three centres was about five million ft. in 1927. Films 
I from the U.S.A. made up about 80% of the imported footage. 


j 23. The Report of the Committee. — ^The report of the Committee, 
I which was published by the Government of India, contains an 
analysis of the film industry as it then was and the recommendations 
■I of the Committee for its future development as well as their views 
; on the points referred to them for enquiry. The members were of 
the opinion that censorship had worked fairly well, but recom- 
mended that it should be . made a responsibility of the Central 
Government to be carried out by a Central Board of Censors 
‘ ^ constituted for the whole of India, for examination of imported as 

; ' 9 


well as Indian films. For encouraging the production and exhibition* 
of Indian films, the Committee recommended a series of measures,, 
including the setting up of a separate Department in the Central 
Government to look after the industry, as well as the creation of a 
Cinema Advisory Committee and a Central Cinema Bureau. They 
further recommended that cinemas in the country should be com- 
pelled to show a specified quota of Indian films, but that such pre- 
ference should be shown only to Indian films, while others, whether 
made within the Empire or outside, should be dealt with on the same 
economic basis. The non-Indian members of the Committee who 
wrote a dissenting minute, expressed themselves against quotas and 
suggested that with more eifieient organisation, the industry could 
place itself on a sound basis. They, however, supported many of 
the other recommendations of the Committee for giving assistance 
to the industry. 

24. State assistance to the Industry. — The recommendations of the 
Committee contained in the main report and in the minute of dissent 
were examined by the Government departments concerned. A few 
minor points were taken up, such as extending railway concessions 
to film production units and rationalising import duties. On the 
question of censorship, the recommendations of the Committee were 
accepted generally in principle, but no action was taken, as it re- 
quired special legislation which the Government were not prepared 
to undertake at that stage since important constitutional changes 
were in the offing. Further, the world wds then passing through 
a severe financial crisis and the major recommendations of the 
Committee for giving assistance to the Indian film industry were 
dropped in toto as they involved considerable expenditure. In 
the main, therefore, the report of the Committee has remained an in- 
effective record of some historical value and it had lain mostly buried 
in official files until the appointment of this Committee revived some 
interest in it. It might not be an unprecedented fate of a Com- 
mittee’s arduous and useful labours, but the lack of attention to it for 
well nigh quarter of a century has cost the public and the cotmtry 
dearly. A belated recognition of the value of the Indian Cinemato- 
graph Committee Report was the passing of legislation for central 
censorship at the end of 1949, a reform which, had it been accepted 
earlier, might have avoided certain undesirable trends which have 
lately manifested themselves in the industry. 

25. However, in spite of the lack of any assistance or appreciable 
measures of encouragement from .the Gtovernment, the Indian film 
industry forged ahead in technique, size and importance, and the 
annual production had more than trebled in the next four years. 
The number of cinemas had also increased to about 400 by 1931. 

26. Advent of sound in motion pictures. — With the introduction 
of sound in motion pictures shortly after the Committee’s report had 
been published, the film industry all over the world underwent a 
revolution. The industry had to think in terms of sounds and pic- 
tures, instead of pictures alone, of dialogues and music instead of 
pithy and literary captions, of sound effects and photography instead 
of mere camera shots. To the psychology of visual reactions was 
added the sensitiveness to sound. Production methods had to be 
changed, and studios had to be redesigned or rebuilt suitably and' ^ 
equipped with sound recording apparatus. Theatres had to be* 
acoustically treated and fitted up. The demands on artistes grew 


larger and heavier. The film became something more than a mere 
pantomime show; many actors who had made their name in silent 
pictures found themselves displaced by others who could speak 
well or sing. Musicians were engaged by film producers instead of 
by theatre-owners as formerly. Everyone in the industry had to 
learn new techniques, and very often to devise them. 

27. Reliable figures are not available, but according to statistics 
contained in private publications, the conversion of the Indian film 
industry to sound pictures was complete by the end of 3935. The 
production of silent features dropped from 300 in 1931 to 7 in 1935. 
No new silent feature pictures were released thereafter. The produc- 
tion of sound picture rose correspondingly, from 2{; in 1931 to a peak 
of 233 in 1935. Production, therefore, levelled off and remained 
steady at about 170 films per year. Theatres had in the meanwhile 
been converted to the projection of sound pictures, and the number 
of theatres also increased to about 700. 

28. Natural “protection” in the industry.— By far the most un- 
expected effect of the advent of sound was to give the Indian film 
industry a measure of protection and fillip far beyond anything con- 
templated by the Rangachari Committee. Silent film.s, which de- 
pended to a very large extent on acting and mime were comparatively 
free from the bounds of language and geography. United States pro- 
ducers, with the talent, experience and resources that they com- 
mand, turned out silent pictures which could not be equalled else- 
where, and producers in many other countries had found themselves 
unable to stand this competition. But with the use of dialogue and 
music in the film, producers in countries where English was not 
spoken, were secure from United States competition for quite some 
time. Subsequently, U.S. producers started making versions of 
their productions in the major European languages, but until recent- 
ly they have not attempted any serious production of versions in 
Indian languages. Under the shelter of this protection provided by 
language, the Indian film industry developed rapidly. 

29. Factors contributing to growth of industry,— Even other- 
• wise India possesses certain factors which favour the growth of 

national film industry. The most important of these is the enormous 
population sharing a common culture, traditions, modes and e.xper- 
lences of life. Each linguistic group in this country is of the size of 
a full-fledged nation in the West. Further, the cinema offers enter- 
tainment within the means of ^ large section of Indians, and with 
dialogue in Indian languages, it has brought entertainment well 
within the comprehension of most of them. Manv different forces 
in action during the last twenty years have resulted in a rapid growth 
of the size and number of Indian towns and consequent increase in 
P® audiences. The people of India, not particularly, 

tond of soc^l recreation at clubs or gatherings, and functioning in 
lamily rather than community units, have taken to the cinema as 
tne only form of easily available and comparatively inexpensive 
entertainment within their means. Combined with sound, the pic- 
tures have displaced all competing entertainment such as the theatre, 
musical gatherings, poetic symposiums, and open air stages that 
nourished even two decades ago. Under increasing popular urge 
and patronage, cinemas sprang up all over the country and their 
number rose to over 1,500 in 1939. At the time of the outbreak of 
the war, India stood third among the prqducing countries in respect 


turning out 9% of the total world production (Japan 
^7>;, U.S. 22%, Germany 7%), though in the number of cinemas she 
possessing only 4 cinemas per one million of population 
(U.S.A. 150 per million, U.K. 80, Germany 65, Japan 20). 

30. War-time development.— During World" War II, the cinema 
habit spread much further and faster among the population, as a 
popular means of relieving war-time tension, and a medium for sti- 
mulating war propaganda. The greater purchasing power of all 
classes oi the population particularly the poorer and lower middle 
classes and the expansion of employment both in the army and in 
industry, brought about an increase in the number of persons who 
could Mlford regular visits to the cinema. The earnings of the exhi- 
bition side of the industry rose very fast in consequence. Theatre 
equipment costing over 40 lakhs of rupees was imported during chis 
period, in spite of w'ar-time difficulties, and a number of new 
cinemas were opened. While there were only 1,265 permanent 
cinemas in India in 1939, their number had increased to 2,090 in 

31. Production, however, was limited because of the difficulties of 
gelling raw film. As a measure of conserving the supplies, the pro- 
duction of ‘^trailers'' to advertise films or other products was banned, 
A limit was also placed on the length of each feature film and on the 
total length of film exhibited at each show. Later, the distributijn 
of raw film came under control; users could secure supplies only 
under a licence and had to submit returns of the film they had used 
up. This system of licences continued in force till the end of the 
war. During this period there were several complaints that son\e 
producers had transferred their licences to others for a consider- 
ation or that they were selling film in the black market. On the 
other hand, there were the usual allegations of favouritism and 
invidious distinctions in the grant of licences. A committee was 
therefore set up by the Government of India to advise it on the 
issue of licence. The Committee was composed of the following 
members : — 

Cliftinnan . ... Secretary, late I. and C.S. Depart 


Vice-Cliairiaan & Convener . . Deputy Secretary, late I. & C. S. 


Repro tentative of the Indian Motion Shri V. Shantaram. 

Piet. I ire Producers Association, 


Kepre.sentativc of the Independent Shri M . A . Mughni. 

Producers Associiition, Bombay. 

Two members nominated by Govern- Shri Chandulal Shah, Bombay, 
mont. ShriM. A. Fazalbhoy, Bombay. 

Representative of th^^ South Indian Shri Y. V. Rao. 

Kim Chamber of Commerce, Madras. 

Representative of the Bengal Motion Shri B. N. Sircar. 

Picture* Association, Calcutta. 

Representative of the Northern India Shri D. M. Pancholi. 

Film Producers Association. 


32. The Committee functioned till the end of the war, but shortly 
before the controls were due to lapse, the Bombay members of the 
Committee resigned in protest on ground of some differences with 
the Government over the issue of licences. 

.33. Industry after the war. — The war ended at a time when the 
industry was enjoying a boom. Cinemas, old and new, were earnin/ij 
large revenues, and since the annual production of films had been 
curtailed, from about 170 at the beginning of the war to about 100 
when it ended, the distributors and producers also secured good 
returns on every film. So when controls were lifted by 1946 there 
was a sudden spurt of activity both in production and exhibition. 
Theatre equipment imported in the two years 1946-47 and 1947-48 
amounted in value to a crore qjf rupees. Studio equipment costing 
another crore of rupees was also imported and installed in the same 
period. Within three months of decontrol, over 100 new producers 
entered the field, attracted by the prospects held out by the industry, 
and new films released numbered over 200 in 1946 and 283 in 1947. 
The nature of this sudden expansion and its efiect on the industry 
are briefly examined below and in detail in the chapter relating to 

34. Then carnc the partition and like other splieres of economic 
activity, the cinema industry was affected considerably. Thcne was 
at first a temporary loss of a portion of the market. A number of 
cinemas which had been exhibiting Hindi films produced in Bombay 
were located in vriiat is now West Pakistan, while some others 
formerly showing Bengali films were located in wiiat has become 
East Pakistan. Disturbances in thi.s country affected cinema earn- 
ings to some c. ctent. Finally, the shortage of certain building 
materials, which were required in large quantities for housing dis- 
placed persons, led to the imposition of a ban on the construction of 
new cinemas in many States of the Union. 

35. Production maintains progress. — In spite of these adverse fac- 
tors, however, there was no drop in the production of new films. This 
branch of the industry continued to attract new comers, who started 
bidding up the fees of popular stars. Costs of production increased 
in other directions also, particularly because of rise in prices while 
working capital became more difficult to secure. The increasing 
burden on public revenues led to State Governments^ looking for 
easily manageable sources of revenue. Almost all the States decided 
to increase the rate of Entertainment tax on cinemas. 

36. Popular patronage continued to increase and the gross 
revenues of the industry showed a continuous rise. But though there 
was more money to go round, the number of claimants to a share in 
the spoils increased. Competition among producers reduced pro- 
fits; falling off of standards, a necessary consequence of unhealthy 
competition, resulted in fewer successes and many failurevS. Estab- 
Ushed producers feared that a shrinking market and rising costs 
would result in a severe setback to the industry. The industry which 
had grown out of proportion under the stimulus of artificial war-time 
prosperity, began to show signs of stress and strain under adversity. 
Ill-equipped and unprepared for a change in its fortunes, torn by 
jealousies and dissensions, converted from a business enterprise to 


a sort of gamble, it grievously suffered from organisational mal- 
adjustments. Within three years of the end of the war, the leader- 
ship of the industry had changed hands from established producers 
to a variety of successors. Leading ‘stars', exacting financiers and 
calculating distributors and exhibitors forged ahead. Free-lancing 
became the rule among the artistes, and ‘stars' on the pay-roll of 
established producers became the exception. Ambitions soared high; 
the cameraman of yesterday became the director of today and pro- 
ducer of tomorrow. Film production, a combination of art, industry 
and showmanship, became in substantial measure the recourse of 
deluded aspirants to easy riches, and neither internal correctives nor 
external inspiration or pressure intervened to halt the process. This 
picture of the industry by no means partial or overdrawn, continues 
to unroll itself in the same dismal an^ dreary fashion. 

37. Present position of the industry: Some facts and figures. — 

The film industiy in India consists of three different sectors, produc- 
tion, distribution and exhibition. There are also ancillary industries, 
such as the manufacture of photographic chemicals, equipment and 
accessories of film production, film cement and projection and re- 
winding equipment for cinema theatres and the manufacture of 
materials for studios and cinemas. 

38. The figures given in the following paragraphs to illustrate the 
progress attained by the industry are not comprehensive nor can 
their accuracy be fully vouched for. That cannot but be so in the 
very nature of things. The figures available from official sources 
have had to be checked and compared with information gleaned 
from several trade publications and journals. 

39. At the exhibition end, there arc nearly 2,400 cinemas in the 
country situated in permanent or semi-permanent buildings and 
about 850 located in tents or other similar structures. The average 
seating capacity of a permanent theatre in India is about 600, rang- 
ing usually between 400 and 1,200. The seating capacity of touring 
cinemas may also be taken at about the same average. This gives 
a total seating capacity of about 20 lakhs. Most cinemas in the 
country hold more than two shows a day. On the basis of daily at- 
tendance estimated at 40% occupancy, i.c. not less than 16 lakhs, the 
annual attendance in all the cinemas would come to 60 crores. (Our 
estimate is rather conservative; a trade publication gives the daily 
attendance figure as 20 lakhs, equivalent to an annual attendance of 
73 crores). The cost of a large theatre in major cities may exceed 
Rs. 8 lakhs, while others in smaller towns, many of them built before 
the war, cost the owners half to three-quarters of a lakh of rupees, 
including the site and building. On the whole, smaller theatres pre* 
dominate in numbers, and tiie average cost of a theatre in India 
may bo estimated at one lakh of rupees. The 2,400 permanent 
theatres represent, therefore, a capital investment of Rs. 24 crores. 
A touring cinema costs betw^een 20 and 40 thousand rupees, includ- 
ing the tent and equipment; the total cost of 850 touring cinemas 
now in operation may thus be estimated at an additional 2 crores of 
rupees. The over-all capital investment in the exhibition side of 
the industry would thus amount to nearly 26 crores of rupees. These 
estimates are based on the number of cinemas in operation today 
and are, therefore, higher than recent estimates of the industry 
which placed the number of cinemas at a smaller figure. 


v: 40. The annual production of films in the country is about 275 and 

): has remained practically at that level for the last two years. If the 
production of films is assumed to be distributed uniformly over the 
whole year and if the investment on production is also taken to be 
similarly spread over the eight months nornially taken for produc- 
tion, the total investment at any time would work out to one-third 
of the value of the output for the year. Taking the average cost of a 
picture at Rs. lakhs, we arrive at a total investment of Rs. 3 
crores in production. Further, if we accept the estimate of the 

■ Income-tax authorities that the total investment on a film is re- 

■ covered in the course of three years in the ratio to 60%, 25% and 
15%; respectively in each year and that within a year the recoveries 
are spread uniformly over the twelve months, the amount still to be 

; recovered at any moment may be assumed to be the residual cost on 
;; the output of the three previous years, arrived at by deducting the 

■ proportionate percentages for each month. By this process of cal- 
7 culation, we arrive at the figure of thirteen times the monthly output 
; as the current value of pictures under distribution at any time i.e. 

: about Rs. 10 crores. In practice, however, the investment on a film 

is recovered more rapidly than is allowed for by the Income-tax 
; authorities, and the actual investment in distribution may now, in 
our opinion, exceed Rs. 6 crores. The combined investment of 
working capital in production and distribution can, therefore, be 
-estimated at Rs. .9 crores. It is difficult, however, to allocate this 
amount between producers who have invested their money in pro- 
duction and who may also be handling the distribution, and distri- 
butors who may have financed producers or have bought the entire 
distribution rights in certain pictures under production. 


41. There are nearly 60 studios in the country which with their 
equipment cost about 4 crores of rupees and the investment on the 
38 processing laboratories and on the stocks of equipment and stores 
may be estimated at an additional Rs. 2 crores, making a total in- 
vestment of 6 crores of rupees on capital equipment and stores. 

42. Lack of employment statistics. — We regret we have unfortu- 
■ nately been unable to obtain from State Governments any statistics 

regarding the number of people employed in the industry. A trade 
estimate puts the figure at about 70,000. This figure is. perhaps on 
I the low side. 


43. In the absence of statistics, the total earnings of the indust^ 
I can only be deduced from figures of Entertainment tax revenue in 
t all the States of the Union, which is roughly crores of rupees, but 
I since revenue statistics are not classified, according to the value of 
i’ the tickets sold, and since the amount of tax varies according to the 
I value of the ticket, the estimate of earnings can only be approximate. 
t Certain assumptions have to be made regarding the proportion of 
j seats in the various cinemas and the extent to which each class is 
{ filled. These would naturally vary in different parts of each State, 

particularly between large cities and small towns. We believe that 
; for the whole country the net revenue to the industry may be estimat- 
ed at not less than Rs. 20 crores, after allowing for entertainment 
tax. The industry journals favour a lower estimate of income, but 
this cannot be reconciled with their own estimates of attendance. 


44. Positioii of industry at a glance.— To sum up, the industry 
collects an annual attendance of 60 crores of people, represents a< 
capital investment of 32 crores of rupees in fixed assets and 9 crores^ 
of rupees in working capital and earns a revenue of about 20 crores 
of rupees. 

45. In spite of this expansion indicated above, the Indian film in- 
dustry as a whole has not yet fully achieved the “efficient organisa- 
tion and businesslike management” that the Indian Cinematograph 
Committee found lacking in 1928. The “statistical and other material 
dealing with the industry, which is so necessary for a proper under- 
standing of the real position of the trade and the best methods for 
improving it” is still absent. 

46. Prima fade, the net return to the industry might appear large 
on the basis of the capital invested. The position would be satis- 
factory if the apparent prosperity were evenly distributed or equit- 
ably shared, but unfortunately probably no other industry would 
present such a picture of maladjustment in its component parts as 
the film industry. High rates of finance, heavy scale of payment to 
the artistes, the shares of the exhibitor and the distributor, the large 
percentage of “flops” and unreleased pictures, the increased labour 
and studio charges — all these make film enterprise a profitable busi- 
ness only to a comparatively small proportion of producers. While 
it would be a truism to say that the general level of prosperity of 
the majority of persons engaged in the industry has gone up, there 
is no doubt that to the smaller body of producers — a minority group— 
the expansion of the industry has brought little relief but many 
regrets. ^ Yet such is the glamour of quick and substantial returns 
which a* comparatively small number of producers can secure as a 
result of the success of their productions that the industry has shown 
no signs of suffering from lack of new entrepreneurs who are pre- 
pared to gamble for high stakes, often at the cost of both the taste of 
the public and the prosperity of the industry. In the process many 
of them lose their own private fortunes in a substantial measure, 
make the general public pay to see pictures which not only discredit 
their intelligence but also enhance their reputation for credulity and 
submission to make-believe, and leave the industry “unwept, un- 
honoured and unsung”. The film world in India, however, is none 
the wiser for this experience nor any the more enlightened and the 
tragic spectacle of unsuccessful producers coming in and going out 
of the industry continues and the people in the business both inside 
and outside the industry suffer this entrance and exit in deep, silent 
but ineffective and helpless disdain. 

47. It is evident that such a state of affairs can continue only to 
the detriment of public interests and industry alike. Neither the 
Government’s attitude of indifference, nor the industry’s attitude of 
smug satisfaction at their own conduct, nor the apathy of the general 
public to the quality of the fare served to them and the conditions in 
which it is served can last if a sense of public duty pervades all. 



48. Film production. — There has been practically a unanimous 
complaint by the witnesses from the industry that their film business 
is reduced almost to a state of asphyxia by the stranglehold of 
numerous laws, rules, and regulations by multitudinous authorities 
from petty but hectoring officials of the police or local boards to 
Ministries at the Centre, with no single authority to co-ordinate or 
superintend them. We have found this complaint to be well founded 
and have tried to collect such legal or quasi-legal regulations w^hich 
bind the film business in its various branches. We have no doubt 
that this catalogue will come as a surprise to government and the 
public alike as it has come to us. At this stage, we propose only 
to give a factual account, and reserve to ourselves a later opportunity 
for suggesting remedies. But we cannot help quoting as descriptive 
of this state of affairs a translation from a famous Urdu poet: 

“In the net of every wave, exist 
A hundred gaping mouths of crocodiles: 

See what the rain drop goes through, 

Before it becomes a pearL'^ 

49. Entry 52 in List I of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution 
places on the Union List only those industries the control of v/hich 
by the Union is declared by law to be expedient in the public in- 
terest. The production of films has not yet been included in the list 
of such industries. The effect of Entry 24 in List II which covers all 
industries not provided for under Entry 52 would, therefore, be tc 
bring the production of films within the jurisdiction of the States. 

50. Entry 60 of the Union List, however, assigns to the Centre the 
subject of “sanctioning of cinematograph film for cxhibition’\ This 
gives to the Union Government the final say in film production, but 
for other regulative purposes, unless action is taken under Entry 52, 
the production of films must remain a State concern. 

51. Storage of inflammable film. — At the same time, Entry 53 on 

the Union List covers “ substances declared by Parliament 

by iaw to be dangerously inflammable’^ Cinema film made from 
cellulose nitrate comes under this category, and rules have been 
framed under the Indian Petroleum Act to regulate its storage and 
transport. When in a few years, the bulk of the film in this country 
is all of the “safety” type which is now being introduced, the hand- 
ling of cinema film will no longer come under these regulations. 

52. Exhibition of films. — The certification of films and the regu- 
lation of cinemas are governed by the relevant sections of the Indian 
Cinematograph Act, in Part A and Part C States and by similar 
meal legislation in Part B States. In view of the restrictive effect of 
Entry 60 in the States List, it appears doubtful whether the provi- 
sions of the Indian. Cinematograph Act regarding cinemas could 
now be extended to Part B States without resort to Legislation. 

53. State supervision of film production. — We circularized the 
State Governments asking, inter alia for a list of State regulations- 
governing film production. Their replies have not always been quite' 



‘helpful, but we have been able to obtain information from other 
■sources which we feel cover the ground sufficiently. In certain States, 
the Indian Factories Act has been applied to establishments where 
films are produced, but not on any uniform or well-considered basis. 
No reliable figures are maintained of the number of people employed 
in the industry. The provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act regard- 
ing the appointment of Works Committees and Conciliation Officers 
have not been applied to this industry in any of the States, nor have 
statistics been forthcoming about disputes in the industry. 

54. Storage and transport of film. — The rules made under the 
Indian Petroleum Act for the handling of film, which have been re- 
produced in Appendix VI, govern the handling and storage of in- 
flammable film in quantities exceeding 20 lbs. They are quite com- 
prehensive, except that they do not make it incumbent on the owner 
to carry out periodical checks of the condition of the film. Nitrate 
film deteriorates in storage, and when decomposition has reached a 
particular stage, the film is liable to catch tire spontaneously in the 
hot season. Tests carried out elsewhere, particularly in the USA .and 
UK, are reported to have led to methods of judging whether a parti- 
cular piece of film has approached the danger point. Periodic inspec- 
tion, particularly of film more than five years old, and rules making 
it compulsory to inspect the film and destroy reels which are 
approaching the critical stage of decomposition may help consider- 
ably to reduce fire risks. We have already brought this to the at- 
tention of the Ministry of Works, Mines and Power (now Works, 
Production and Supply). 

55. Transport of inflammable film. — The rules govern also the 
transport of film by road and by water; the railways have been em-* 
powered to make and have made their own rules in this connection 
(Appendix VII). Transport by air is prohibited under Rule 8 of the 
Indian Aircraft Rules, unless an exemption is granted by the Govern- 
ment of India. The question, whether film when packed in a suit- 
able container is “highly inflammable”, is reported to be under exa- 
mination in the Directorate of Aircraft Inspection, but no rules have 
yet been laid down in this regard. Nevertheless, films are being 
transported by air. 

,56. The Indian Cinematograph Act.— As mentioned earlier, the 
regulation of films for exhibition and of the cinemas themselves is at 
present carried out under the provisions of the Indian Cinemato- 
graph Act in Part A and Part C States and under local Acts based 
thereon in Part B Stales. We are, therefore, taking for examination 
the provisions of the Indian Act. It starts by defining “cinemato- 
graph” as including any apparatus for the representation of moving 
pictures or series of pictures. The Indian Cinematograph Committee, 
1927-28, pointed out in their report that this definition was unduly 
wide, including even ordinary peep-shows, and would need to be 
amended. Moreover, “exhibition” is not defined to mean public ex- 
hibition. and the Act as it stands vrould require the licensing of not 
merely film clubs and associations where only members are permitted 
to attend but, for instance, even of homes where films are shown to 
members of the family and friends, and of schools where films are 
shown to children in class rooms, The Act was, no doubt, drafted 
rmore than thirty years ago when all film was highly inflammable 
fsafety film, as now used for non-commercial use in homes, schools 

and clubs, was not known) and further, the scope for such non- 
J commercial exhibition was not envisaged. But today their are 
hundreds of projectors in such use and the annual import of safety 
film in sub-standard width for such non-commercial use of the home 
.Z and the school runs into lakhs of feet. When the report of that Com- 
mittee was circulated to the provinces for their opinions, local 
Governments generally concurred with the amendments that had 
4 been proposed. Madras suggested amendment of the definition of 
“place" to exclude assemblies of not more than 100 persons. <T.P. 
- proposed the substitution of the words “public exhibition” for “an 
exhibition” in section 3. But no legislation was undertaken by the 
Government of India then or subsequently. A witness in Madras, 

4 w^ho is using the film as a means of cultural education and for the 
development of critical judgment among members of a private club, 

vi told us that he did not know^ when he might be charged with an 
£ offence under the Act for not having secured a cinema licence for his 
I home. The film can function as a medium of education and culture 
only wiien its use is encouraged, not if it is circumscribed by vague 
) legislation. We quote this obvious defect not only as evidence of an 
unnecessary and undesirable restriction on the growth of the in- 
dustry but also as proof of lack of attention to the need for change, 
and apathy towards adaptation to contemporary requirements. 

57. Certification of films for exhibition. — At present all films 
must be certified according to law^ before they can be “exhibited”. It 
w’ould be obviously impossible for any Government to arrange for 
certifying all films before they may be exhibited, or to view for 
this purpose the hundreds of films being shot every day by private 
individuals of incidents in their domestic life. Even if* it were 
possible, it would constitute unw^arrantable interference in their 
private affairs. On the other hand, the possibility of school-children 
being showm films which have not been approved for public exhibi- 
tion must be guarded against. 

58. Central and State certification.— According to the Indian Cino- 
matograph (Amenc}ment) Act of 1949, the exercise by the Govern- 

J ment of India of the powers of sanctioning films for exhibition is to 
^ commence from a date to be notified. Such notification was issued 
only when this report was nearing completion. The power of certi- 
v fying films for exhibition was, up to that time, being exercised by 
I the States Governments under the provisions of the Act before the 
I amendment. Since the production of films in this country is more oi’ 

I less concentrated at present in three States, Bombay, West Bengal 
and Madras, and since the import of foreign films is also taking 
I ffiace mainly through the ports of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, 

5 examination of films for certification was carried on mainly 

I by Boards established under the Indian Cinematograph Act at these 
S cities. Such Boards had been constituted also in U.P., Punjab. 

I Mysore and Travancore-Cochin. In U.P., films w’^hich carried a valid 
f certificate from any Board constituted under the Indian Cinema to- 

j^aph Act could be exhibited without fresh examination, and as 
^ u u little of local production, the function of the U.P. Board 
^ bad been only to examine those films which raised or were likely to 
raise any peculiar local problems. In Punjab, a Board was in exist- 
I «nce in Lahore before partition and examined a number of films each 
I year, including those produced locally. After partition, the Board 
I continued to be in existence in Punjab (I) but examined mainly a 


few films in Punjabi which were presented there for first certifica- 
tion. In the cases of Mysore and Travancore which are governed by 
separate Acts, it has been the practice to insist that every film should 
be brought to the Board for certification before it could be exhibited. 

59. In the evidence placed before us, it was explained that in the 
case of imported films, the Mysore Board was usually satisfied with 
the levy of a fee, not perhaps a unique example of a mercenary at- 
titude towards an important public duty while Indian films, parti- 
cularly those to which unfavourable reference had been made in 
newspapers or journals, were always seen by the Censor Board 
before they were granted a certificate. The fee in the latter case 
was also much higher. In Travancore, films which held valid certifi- 
cates from Boards constituted under the Indian Act were not scruti- 
nised, and a certificate was issued on payment of a nominal fee. 
Other films were seen before certification and a higher fee was 

60. Each of these Boards consisted of a number of non-qfficial 
members and a few officials who were there ex-officio, e.g., the Com- 
missioner of Police at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, the Garrison 
Officer in certain Cantonment cities, etc. All the members of the 
Board were honorary workers, but the Board maintained a paid 
staff in places where the work was heavy. An official was usually 
the convener of the Board and the practice was to call a meeting 
when a film v/as offered for examination. Usually, the convener had 
to ask several members before he could get one or two who would 
spare the time to see the picture. Tt was screened at some theatre 
arranged for by the producer or distributor and the show was 
attended by at least one official and one or two members of the 
Board. If those present felt that the film contained nothing objec- 
tionable, they recommended the grant of the certificate, vrhich was 
issued by the President of the Board. Where they felt that certain 
portions of the film should be excised before a certificate could be 
granted, their view was communicated to the producers, who general- 
ly accepted the decision and made suitable changes in the film. If how- 
ever, the recommendations of the Committee that saw the picture 
were not accepted by the producer, the film was usually seen again 
by the full Board or by at least, as many as could attend, and their 
opinion was communicated to the producer. Where he agreed to 
carry out the Board’s recommendations, the film was certified as 
amended. If, however, the producer would not accept the recom- 
mendations of the Board, the certificate was refused. In order to 
prevent such a film being brought up before a different Board with- 
out disclosing the fact that it had once been refused a certificate, the 
form of entry for examination usually provided a column wherein 
the producer had to declare the previous history of the film in this , 
matter. The applicant was asked to state whether the film had 
been shown before any other Board and if so what the decision of 
the Board was, whether a certificate was refused, or if it was grant- 
ed, whether portions of the film were ordered to be excised. The 
Boards also kept in touch with one another’s decision on the films 
presented for certification. 

61. Codes for guidance: Uniformity in administration. — ^For the 
guidance of the members of the Board, a code of general principles 
to be kept in mind when approving films for exhibition had been 
issued by most of the States. Copies of the Codes used in Bombay,. 

■; 3 : 


Madras, Calcutta, Mysore and Punjab (I) are given in Appendix 
VIII. Any code, however comprehensive the authors might set out 
to make it, of necessity left considerable latitude for the inter- 
pretation of the clauses or for its application to any individual case. 
Consequently, difference of opinion between one Board and another, 
as well as between members of the same board was sometimes in- 
evitable. Nor could a certain amount of apparent discrimination 
based on subjective considerations be altogether eliminated. In 
order to reduce to the minimum the possibility of such differences, 
Bombay brought out a collection of suggestions for the interpreta- 
tion of the code. This is also reproduced in Appendix VIII. Never- 
theless, allegations of differential treatment of films were not pre- 
cluded even by this more elaborate version of the Code. The reason 
may be that no two scenes in different films can always be identical 
and what passes as blameless in one picture may, in a different con- 
te^^t of another, be open to objection. There is also the inevitable 
difference between individual view-points. Bombay made an 
attempt to eliminate this latter source of gaievance also by training 
a number of Examiners who attended the showing of every picture 
and followed this up by being present at the discussions among the 
members as well as acquainting themselves with the final decision in 
each case. This arrangement produced a nucleus of officials fully 
acquainted with the general attitude of the Board as a whole in 
regard to most aspects that came up for action, and served to ensure 
continuity in the standards applied. Other States apparently did 
not have occasion to adopt this procedure. 

62. Human factor in censorship. — What we have said above serves 
to emphasise a very vital element in censorship, viz. the human 
factor. Censorship, with the best will in the world, can never be 
perfect unless it can be exercised or controlled by, mechanical devi- 
ces. Even though principles and rules might be standardised, 
judgment is bound to vary with individuals. Lack of uniformity in 
treatment may be reduced but can never be eliminated. Individual 
judgment may be replaced by collective deliberation, but as the 
approach to censorship depends to a large extent on mental alert- 
ness, individual judgment and personal outlook, even collective deli- 
berations of different individuals are bound at times to yield varying 
results. The centralisation of censorship is undoubtedly a step in 
the right direction; it reduces and closely circumscribes the area of 
variation but it will not and cannot succeed in eliminating variations 
due to the indispensable human element. Friends and critics alike 
of censorship whether in the industry or outside would do well to 
bear this in mind. 

63. General principles. — ^Apart from the provisions of the Code, 
which generally covered those aspects which might make a film un- 
suitable for public exhibition, there were also certain other aspects 
which the Boards kept in mind before certifying a film for public 
exhibition. Some of these were the possibility of a film offending 
friendly nations, exciting communal passions, encouraging disorder 
or propagating the cult of .violence. They also took objection to 
“sordid themes unrelieved by any desirable features”, or themes ridi- 
culing any established State policy e.g. prohibition. 

“A” and “U” Certificates.— By the recent amendment to the 
Indian Cinematograph Act, a distinction has been made between 
films considered suitable for exhibition to adults only and 


those suitable for general exhibition. For this purpose, only those 
who have reached the age of 18 are considered adults, and where the 
certificate indicates that it should be exhibited only to adults, the 
burden has been laid upon the exhibitor to ensure that nobody below 
that age is permitted to attend the showing. Children below three 
years of age are exempted from this provision. In U.K., where a 
similar restriction is in force, young persons below 18 are permitted 
to see films which have received only an “Adult” or “A” certificate, 
when they are accompanied by one of their parents or guardians. No 
such provision exists in the Indian Act and it is, therefore, mandatory 
to exclude from the theatre all persons below 18 years of age when 
an “A” film is being shown. While the provisions of this amend- 
ment had been intimated to the Censor Boards wherever they »?xist, 
no indication had been given of the lines along which discrimination 
must be made between films for general showing and those for adults 
only. In the case of the U.K, a film which is likely to give a distorted 
view of life to young persons without sufficient worldly experience 
is permitted to be show* to such persons only if they are accompanied 
by older people who are interested in their welfare, such as parents 
or guardians. It is presumed that these adults would help to correct 
any wrong impression that may be given on such aspects as, for 
instance, divorce and the break-up of family life, gambling and 
drunkenness, the apparent success of crime, etc. In the absence of a 
clear interpretation of the intentions of the amendment, Censor 
Boards in India apparently placed their own interpretation on it. 
There have not been many cases of films which have been granted 
“A” certificates, but the few instances are widely different in cheir 
apparent purpose. Some Censors have evidently considered +hat 
Indian films containing vulgar songs or reference to illicit sexual 
relationship, which would normally have been excised under ' the 
former rules, could be permitted to be exhibited with an “A” certifi- 
cate, while others have clamped such a certificate on foreign films 
where bathing dresses or dances in the western fashion strike them 
as open to objection. An undesirable aspect of the distinction 
between “A” and “U” certificates has been the tendency on the part 
of producers and distributors to exploit the fact that a particular 
film has been granted an “A” certificate, their advertisements tending 
to imply that an “A” certificate vouches for the contents of the film 
being salacious. In the enforcement also of the “A” certificate, there 
have been obvious difficulties: the exhibitors have repeatedly em- 
phasised in their evidence before us their difficulties in judging the 
age in many cases and in enforcing their decision, particularly when 
they are faced by angry mobs. The net result, therefore, is that the 
enforcement of this law is left to the good sense of the cinema- 
goers to the extent that it can operate in the face of added tempta- 
tion to see films or portions thereof which would probably have been 
tept away from the screen formerly. 

65. The work of the Boards. — The Bombay Board on an average 
dealt with about 50 lakhs feet of film in each year, the Madras Board 
with about 8 lakhs feet and the Calcutta Board with about 15 lakhs 
feet. These figures include both Indian and foreign films of varying 
length, features, news reels, “shorts”, documentaries, etc. The 
Boards had been empowered also to examine and certify imported 
films of an educational nature so that they might qualify for refund 
of customs duty. The figures of footage include also the length of 


such films, which would not have come up before the Boards other- 
wise. An analysis of the films censored during the past five years 
at each of these centres showing the number of films to which 
objection was taken but jvhich were certified after cuts have been 
made as well as the reasons for the cuts and details of films which 
were refused certification is given in Appendix IX, 

, 66. Powers of the State Government. — A State Government had 

the power to declare any film “uncertified” even if it had been 
approved by a Board in another State or even in the same State. 
(The* possible need for the exercise of this power was perhaps the ‘ 
only justification for the existence of Boards in States like the U.P. 
where there was no production or import of films). This power has 
not been exercised vex'y often. The amended Act under which the 
certification will be done by the Central Government leaves the 
State Government with the power to declare films “uncertified” 
where this is necessary in the interests of law and order. Such a ban 
on the exhibition of a film can continue for a maximum duration of 
two months and extension of the ban would require the concurrence 
of the Central Government. 

67. Compulsory exhibition of films. — ^According to section 5 clause 
(2A) of the Indian Cinematograph Act as amended, the Central 
Government is empowered to issue directions to licensees generally 
or to any licensee in particular, for the purpose of regulating the ex- 
hibition of any film or class of films so that scientific films, films in- 
'ended for educational purposes, films dealing with news and current 
events, documentary films or indigenous films secure an adequate 
opportunity of being exhibited. As had been pointed out earlier, the 
Constitution empowers the Central Government only to sanction 
films for exhibition. It is a moot point whether this power would in- 
clude the authority to issue directions to licensees for the compulsory 
exhibition of certain categories of films. 

68. At present, compulsory exhibition of films is being ensured 
by the insertion of a clause in the licence issued to each exhibitor 
making it incumbent on him to include at least one thousand feet of 
“approved” films in each show. Under instructions from the Central 
Government, the clause has been included in the conditions of the 
licence by State Government, or in some cases have been embodied 
in orders issued by them. The validity of such a clause or order has 
not so far been tested in a court of law. We are ourselves doubtful if 
such an obligation can be imposed under a licence issued under the 
Indian Cinematograph Act, having regard to the limited constitutional 
sanction of that Act. _ We have found the industry generally critical 
bu4 submissive to this obligation. Nevertheless, Government might, 
in their own interest, like to nut the position beyond legal or cons- 
titutional challenge. 

69. Exhibition of approved films.— -“Approved” films consist of 
newsreels and documentaries, mostly produced by the Government 
of India, but sometimes secured by them from private sources also. 
The production and distribution of “approved” films is being carried 
out by the Government of India through the Films Division of the 
Minist:ty of Information and Erpadcasting. In addition to the obliga- 
tion laid oh all exhibitors to show “approved” films at all shows with 
the feature film, the Government also charge a weekly rental for 
the films supplied by them. Rentals are charged on the basis of one 


per cent of the average weekly collections of cinemas, excluding the 
-entertainment tax, within a range of Rs. 5 as minimum and Rs. 150 
as maximum. According to the figures supplied by the Filnu Division, 
there were at the end of March, 1950, a l:otal of 3,219 cinemas in 
India (2,426 permanent and 793 touring), but “approved” films were 
being supplied to 2,910 cinemas. And on this basis the collection of 
rentals was estimated to amoimt to Rs. 38,730 a week, or nearly Rs. 20 
lakhs for the year. It was also stated by the Films Division that with • 
the inclusion of the remaining 309 cinemas for supply of “approved” 
films the rentals expected to be collected during the financial year 
1950-51 would amount to Rs. 41,000 per week, or Rs. 21,32,000 fOr the 
year. The industry as a whole has protested against the very prin- 
ciple and the quantum of rentals as well. 

70. Exhibition of uncertified films. — ^Imposition of heavy penal- 
ties has been laid down for the exhibition of films which have not 
been certified for the purpose. The rules require that every film 
must be accompanied by the certificate, and it must be preceded on 
the screen by a display of the certificate. Where cuts have been 
made in a film, the certificate bears on its face a triangular, mark, 
which is to warn local enforcement officers about this fact. The cer- 
tificate is also endorsed on the back with particulars of the cuts made. 
The underlying idea is that the local magistrate or police officer, 
when he sees on the screen a certificate with the warning triangle, 
should keep a look-out for the bits that have been cut out. If he 
feels any doubt in the matter, he could examine the certificate and 
verify whether any of the portions objected to have been put back 
in the picture. 

71. There are no other arrangements for verifying whether a film 
is beng exhibited exactly in the form in which it had been certified. 
There is no legal provision for the deposit of an approved copy with 
the Censor Board or with Government. Where no warning mark is 
shown on the certificate, the only local check possible is on the total 
footage as shown on the certificate. Obviously, if a producer chooses 
to substitute portions of the censored film by others of equal length 
which the Board had never seen, the local officer has no means of 
verifying his suspicions. If it is decided to prosecute the exhibitor, 
the burden of proving that the film as shown was not the film as 
certified would rest on the prosecution. Even members of the Board 
who had viewed the picture before certifying it would, indeed, be 
very bold if they would venture to swear in a court of law that they 
had not seen, at the time of certification, those shots or sequences 
alleged to have been subsequently inserted. The position is no better 
in the case of films which have been cut. The excised portions woiild 
have been handed over to the Board, and the presumption would be 
that the rest had been found innocuous. The producer may not 
always be so foolish as to put back what had been cut — ^though a few 
witnesses felt that this had been done in some cases. But if he puts 
in other material which had never been seen by the Board in place 
of an equal length of film that had been approved, it would seem 
aln^ost impossible to secure a conviction against the exhibitor, or 
against the producer or distributor. 

72. Scrntiny of publicity material.— At present there is no prior 
scrutiny by the Central or State Governments, of ' the publicity 
material released by the film industry, consisting of photographs 
issued to journals and the daily press as well as for display in the 


lobbies of cinemas, posters for exhibition outside the cinemas, 
ivertisements in newspapers and magazines and bills, “throw- 
7 ays” pamphlets, booklets, etc. The question whether there shpuld 
I scrutiny of this material before release was examined by the last 
linematograph Enquiry Committee. Evidence placed before them 
avoured such scrutiny but they came to the conclusion that this was 
^ipracti cable and that the common law of the country was ade* 
^xate for the purpose oi ensuring that objectionable rnaLerial is not 
cposcd to the public view. Many of the wil]:iecsos who have appear- 
“ before this Committee have also expressea tiieir concern with the 
^pc of publicity Vviiich is current and whicn nol infrequently re- 
resents scenes not to be found in t?ie pic1u*re actually exhibited. On 
>e other hand, some witnesses have txrprcsscd tne opinion that the 
bblicity methods adopted by the lilm industry are net more offen- 
Ive than those adopted by certain o^her industries. 

■f 73. Scnitmy of scripts. — There is no legal provisjon for the prior 
^lorutiny of screen-plays. The former State Boards in certain areas 
Mad, ho\\'ever, agreed to go through any scripts that producers might 
lubmit to tlfem and to indicate whether any particular portions 
J^OLild be open to objection \vhen produced as a iilrn. This service 
liras being utilised by a small numbe*-' of pro.''U.:.'erf:, paiticuiarly those 
ilanning to film political themes. Only n slicit synopsis and not the 
full shooting script was sent to the Board. 'This failed to give the 
Board a fuii idca of the form which the film was likely to take. There 
^ere cases where a script had been approved but objection taken to 
j^ie film itself. This naturally gave rise to a sense of grievance 
^fmong producers, but the diilicalty err: oL be avoided unless the 
Scrutinising authority has not only the oopo.tunity to go through the 
^nlirc scenario, but also to be asrocialed wTh ihe preduedion where 
%e ecssary, a.s is the practice with ihe Production Code Adrninistra- 
^cn in the United States. Unfortunately, the industry ilse'f does not 
'3|avG any similar organisation which could offer its opinion on 
.|cripts placed before it or make suggestions for changes :in order to 
.||void objections later. The result has been the production of a 
Jumber of films wdoich never had the slightest chance of being 
llpproved by a Board set up to safeguard the interests of the public. 

74. Scrutiny of films for export, — At present there is no arrange- 
ment for the scrutiny of films made in India before liiey are export- 
for ei^diibition abroad. A number of witnesses connected with 
Itural organisations have stressed befcTO the Committee the need 
yr such prior scrutiny. A statement appears in Appendix X setting 
at the practice in a number of other countries which will show 
at while there is no prior scrutiny of films before export from 
|ghly developed countries, such scrutiny is insisted upon in the 
ise of some countries which, like India, have not yet developed fully 
ad, therefore, suffer greater risk of misretjresentation. Suggestions 
laced before us for the scrutiny of films before export have covered 
|ie cases of full length feature m -de in iT^dia. as well as scenes 
|ot in India for inclusion in foreign feature films or in newsreels or 
' cumentaries edited and compiled abroad, which arc often sent out 
the country without being processed. With regard to the former, 
le witnesses put forward before us the suggestion that no film 
3uld be exported unless it has been certified for public exhibition 
this country. Others held the view that a higlier and more 
jorous standard must be applied in the case of films for export 

K. of 


since they would be shown to those, who, being unaware of all the 
aspects of Indian life, are liable to draw incorrect conclusions from 
what they see on the screen. In regard to shots for inclusion in 
documentaries and newsreels, the view has been expressed that 
toreign producers are inclined to present a country and its people m 
a manner which fits in with preconceived notions among the audience, 
and the chances of being presented in. an unfavourable light are 
greatest in a country like India where the outside world has for a 
long time depended for its information solely on reports from alien 
rulers, interested visitors, paid propagandists or prejudiced jour- 

75. According to the draft convention on international transmis- 
sion of news, and the right of correction, it is not permissible for any 
of the countries to impose export censorship except to meet tlie 
requirements of national defence (Para 1 of Article 7 and Para 3 of 
Article 12). The draft convention, however, provides a procedure 
by which false or distorted reports could be countered by corrective 
publicity (Articles 9, 10 and 11). According to this, the Government 
of the State which is affected has a right to submit its version of the* 
facts to the State within whose territories the distorted or false 
despatch has been published. A copy of this correction will also be 
forwarded to the correspondent or information agency to correct the 
news '‘despatch” in question. It is obligatory on the State to whom 
the correction is addressed, whatever be its own opinion concerning, 
the facts, to release the correction within five days to the correspon- 
dents and information agencies in its territory. If that State fails, 
to do this, the State exercising the right of correction has a right to 
send the correction to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 
who is required to give appropriate publicity to the correction within' 
ten days through the information channels at his disposal, irrespec* 
tive of whether the comments of the State which has failed to publish 
the correction are received or not. 

76. The definition of news despatch given in the draft convention 
seems, however, to be defective as it might have the effect of ex- 
cluding newsreel shots from the scope of the Article about the right 
of correction. Even if the definition is extended to cover such news- 
reel shots, misrepresentation through shots or sequences in feature 
films and documentaries would still remain without remedy under 
this convention. 

77. Licensing of theatres — ^the Licensing Authority. — According 
to Section 4 of the Indian Cinematograph Act, the authority to grant 
licences under the Act is the District Magistrate, or, in Presidency 
towns, the Commissioner of Police. Section 5(2) gives the licensing 
authority the power to grant licences to such persons as it thinks lit; 
and on such terms and conditions and with such restrictions as it may 
determine, subject to the control of the Local Government, provided 
only that the rules made under the Act have been complied with and 
that a clause is inserted in the licence restricting the exhibition to 
certified films complete with their certificates. Local Government® 
have been empowered to constitute other licensing authorities, but 
Ais provision, to our knowledge, has not been availed of, though 
some municipalities have expressed the view that they should be* 
made the licensing authority within their jurisdiction. 


78. DiseretioiiaiT powers.— Discretion is vested in the Licensing 
Authority to refuse a licence even if the applicant has complied with 
the regulations. This discretion is apparently intended to be exer* 
cised in order to prevent the opening of cinemas in unsuitable locali- 
ties. But it is obviously unfair that after a person has built a cinema, 
complete with equipment and fittings, a licence should be refused him 
because the location is considered unsuitable. In ^municipal areas, 
fee preliminary approval to the construction of any building is 
given by the municipality and even if it is to be built specifically 
for a cinema, it has not been the practice usually to consult the 
Licensing Authority before granting the construction permit. The 
result is that such cinema buildings have to be put to other uses if 
the Licensing Authority does not approve the location. In West 
Bengal the procedure requires that the site must be approved by the 
Licensing Authority before the building is put up, but apparently 
this is not the practice in other States and a number of instances in 
which prospective cinema proprietors have been put to serious loss 
or hardship on account of refusal of a licence after construction is 
completed, had been brought to our notice 

79. Virtual ban on construction of cinema houses.— Another set of 
circumstances leading to refusal of permission for building new 
cinema houses has arisen following a circular letter issued by the 
Ministry of Works, Mines and Power in August. 1948. Referring to 
the Prime Minister’s statement made earlier in Parliament that, 
during the present acute shortage of building materials steps should 
be taken to put an end to the construction of all non-essential struc- 
tures, and further that elaborate and luxurious types of construction 
should be totally prohibited, the letter emphasised the necessity of 
enforcing strict control over the use of building materials, in parti- 
cular, cement, steel and bricks, and conveyed to governments of all 
States except Bombay (where the authorities had already taken 
similar action) the views of the Government of India in the matter. 
The emphasis laid by the Government of .India on the “imperative 
necessity of taking drastic steps urgently for the conservation and 
best utilisation of all building materials” was apparently interpreted 
by many State Governments as a call for the imposition of a blanket 
ban on the opening of new cinema houses, and in their turn they 
directed Licensing Authorities not to issue any fresh licence for the 
opening of cinema houses. In effect, this directive discouraged not 
only those people who had already planned to construct cinemas with 
controlled materials obtained in some cases probably by other than 
le^timate methods, but it led also to the slopping of legitimate cons- 
truction of other cinemas which planned to use only materials lot 
in short supply, and even the conversion of other type of buildings 
into cinema houses when this could be done by the employment of 
non-controlled material. It seems doubtful if this sweeping inter- 
pretation made by the Licensing Authorities under the directive 
issued by the State Governments is proper or is even in consonance 
with the spirit and intentions of the Central Ministry which 
originally issued the circular. The fact of the matter has been that 
licences have been refused by the Licensing Authorities in exercise 
of their discretionary power following receipt of directives from the 
State _ Governments, and licences came to be refused even in respect 
of buildings completed prior to the economy-in-building-materials 
order was conceived or issued. 

28 • T ■ ■ ♦; 

80. We are unable to comprehend, much teas to commetui Ihis 
attitude. Films are becoming increasih|dy popular; they have rare 
potentialities for nation-building use. Cinema-going is almost tiife 
only national pastime of such universal appeal. Even with the be^ 
will in the world, the clock of progress cannot be arrested or put 
backwards to suit the prejudices or idiosyncracies of misfits in modem 
times fortunately just a handful who regard the films as whoUy evil. 
We are quite certain that public interests would be served by increas- 
ing the numbers of and improving the conditions in cinemas in 
which millions of Indians can seek recreation under healthy condi- 
tions and not by placing artificial' impediments in the growth of the 
industry — impediments which popular support to the industry will 
certainly overcome as public opinion makes itself more and more 
felt. We are convinced that public authorities can justify them- 
selves, not by ignoring the role of cinemas in life but by acknowledg- 
ing it and conceding them a due place in the essential hation- 
building activities of the community and the State. 

81. Right of appeal. — ^The Indian* Cinematograph Act does not 
'rovide for any appeal over the decision of the Licensing Authority^ 
•)ugh it says that the Licensing Authority should act “subject to the 
trol of the Local Government.” We were told that the Advocate- 
eral of West Bengal expressed the opinion that, as it stands, the 
does not give the State Government any powers of review or 
on. From the evidence placed before us, what the State 
aments would like to have is statutory authority to hear 
and review orders, instead of having to direct the Licensing 
ty to reverse his decision. This, they feel, would enable them 
^t errors of judgment or orders passed without full appregi- 
all relevant facts. 



sil in 
to the 

e rulv 
. ahSt P. 
ct, wWlt 
ocal Acts 
the Stales 

ya Pradesh*' 



ulation governing cinemas.— Section 8 of the Indian 
aph Act (1918) originally empowered only the Governor- 
Council to make rules under the Act, but by section 2 
’ 1 of the Devolution Act of 1920, the authority was trans- 
Local Government. 

•>s applied at present in the three categories of States 
' in each case by the Local Government. In the case 
art C States, the rules have been made under the 
' in the case of Part B States they have been made 
. We have carefully examined the regulations in 
tabulated below; — 

, Part B Part C 

Hyderabad Ajmer 

Jammu & Kashmir Bhopal 
Mysore Himachal Pradesh 

P.E.P.S.U. Coorg, 

V- 1 


, The regulatioha tS® 
ales for ss^ty; heal^. 
iblic resort (b) s^aal 
ations necessitated bT 

be divided roughly into’ three sections:--, 
and convenience -of the pabHci in a 
requirements of ' fc) ftnl 

the ‘ itifl aroable ^ natmelnf ’ y ' UTm* 

85. Rvltt fat safety anfli public health. — ^In many ot the States, 
there is no local Act ^yeming places of public resort, nor have any 
regulations been maae in this regard under the Police Acts. The 
rules made under the Indian Cinematograph Act constitute the only 
safeguards for the public in such places. It is no doubt toe that 
cinemas constitute the majority of places of public resort today, but 
that cannot condone failure to prescribe the minimum amenities for 
all public resorts. The consequence of this omission is three-fold. It 
subjects cinemas to a discriminatory treatment vis-a-vis other places 
of public resort; secondly, it makes the general public apathetic to 
the need for altered conditions in cinemas when it is used to worse 
conditions elsewhere. And lastly it prevents the growth of a healthy 
competition between different places of public resort for public 
patronage based on local amenities. 

86. The major heads which the existing regulations cover are, 
floor area, gangways, corridors and exits, provision of seats and at- 
tendants, lavatory accommodation, ventilation, fire precautions and 
facilities for parking vehicles. While a few States have covered all 
the above heads, most of them have confined themselves to a few 
elementary stipulations, while others have -left it entirely to the 
Licensing Authority to decide in his discretion whether a particular 
building is suitable for use as a cinema. We do not see any justifi- 
cation for these differences in practice or even for the difference in 
the regulations. For instance, the size of human beings and thair 
physiological needs in sanitary matters are more or less the .same 
uiroughout the country. Nor does there seem to be any reason to 
imagine that people in a particular area have a greater tendency to 

S anic and that consequently the width of gangways, exits and corvi- 
ors to be provided should be different. 

87. Floor area. — The minimum floor space to be provided' .is 
generally specified as 5 sq. ft. per person, though Bihar, Bhopal, U.F. 
and West Bengal prescribe no minimum. Orissa and Hyderabad 
stipulate only 4 sq. ft. for temporary buildings. We do not see any 
justification for this variation or for the regulations in Madhya 
Pradesh which call for 5 sq. ft. in stalls and balconies, 4 sq. ft. in 
other parts of the theatre and only 3f sq. ft. in the pit. Similarly in 
Ajmer, only 4 sq. ft. is provided for in the case of chair seats and 
about sq. ft. for backless benches or seats. Freedom of movement 
is as necessary in the pit as elsewhere, and if the audience is to squat 
bn the ground, the floor area required may be more and not less than 
when chairs or benches are provided. Considering the fact that an 
average of 6 sq. ft. per oerson is stipulated in other countries (the 
iwaiftl practice in the U.S.A is to allow about 7 sqi ft. per person), the 
provision of less than 5 sq. ft. seems definitely objectionable. 

88. Gxlts.— These are intended to provide not merely for the nor- 
miii infltlx: and efflux of the audience but also for emergencies such 
as fire, c<fllaiffie of the building, etc. Wherever there is specific pro- 
lusion in this matter, it is usually stipulated that the openings should 
bo at: ipaat 7 hi gh and 5 ft. wide. Madras stipulate^ that the 
openings ^uld be one foot higher in all new cinemas, thbugh the 
purpose of tills chstige is not-tuear. There are certain States, e.g. 
(T ^anunu and Kashmir (6' x 3'-8"), where smaller 
pe^^ States, e-g> no specific provi- 

afobiltpiis# vdtich is a serious omtesion. 


89. It is usually provided in the regulations that all exit doon 
idiould open outwaros, that they should not op(» directly on to a stair- 
case, that they should be suitably lights and dearly marked and 
ahould be left unfastened dui^ the show. The codes in some States 
are not, however, comprehensive and may result in a situation where 
panic in the audience might lead to severe casualties. 

90. One serious gap in most codes is that the number of exits is 
not prescribed with reference to the seating capacity of the audi- 
torium. Even where such a provision exists, there is wide disparity 
in the provision in different states. Chissa calls for a 4 ft wide dow- 
way for every 30 people in the audience, while adjoining Madhya 
Praderii calls for a 5 ft doorway for each 250 persons, with a mini- 
mum of two such doorways. It is obvious that u the necessity exists 
for prescribing the size of the exits, their number and location should 
also be spedflcally prescribed. 

91. Passages and corridors.— The regulations in most States 
specify a minimum width of 5 ft for all corridors and passages and 
it is also laid down that there should be no obstructions in the pas^ 
ages and that they should be properly lighted. U.P., however, pa>.' 
mits corridors of 4i ft. width in cinemas seating 400 persons or le^ 
while West Bengal and Orissa make no provision at all about the 
minimum width of passages. The minimum width of the paaaSges 
should not be less than the width of the exits, and the total wktth of 
all passages leading from exits should bear some relation, tb the 
number of people who are likely to use these passages. In such cases, 
it seems in the public interest to err on the side of safety and to 
have due provision for emergencies.- Only Punjab makes any pro- 
vision in this regard, when it lays down that the combined width of 
the final places of exit from the building should allow 5 ft. for every 
100 persons. Even this provision would not ensure freedom from 
bottlenecks in the shape'of corridors and staircases. 

92. Gangways, aisle loigth and aisle sparing.— The provisions 
regarding gangways are generally defective. The purpose of these 
gangways is to permit the audience to occupy or leave their seats 

' with the minimum of inconvenience t(^ others, and, in an emergency, 
to find their way to the exits very (quickly. It may be argued that if 

. the total floor area is suitably specified with reference to the seating 
accommodation, the unoccupied area would serve as gangway, for 
the space may be unevenly distributed with reference to the location 
of the seats, the aisle-width or spacing between rows might still be 
inadequate and furthbir each row of seats may be so long that it is 
difficult to reach or get out from a seat in the middle of a row. 
Tninimum clear opening between each row of seats must he specified 
in all cases and. also the maximum length Of each row between gang- 
ways, so that no cme in the audience would be hampered in his 
efforts to get away. Such provisions now exist only in some States. 
. Kmjab, for instance, stipulates that gangways not less than 44" wide 
riiomd be provided along the two sides of the auditorium and also 
cutting through the rows every 25 ft. and again once in every 10 rows. 
The width of the usual seats ranges from 18" to 24" and amaxiinum 
aisle-length of 25 ft. would ensure that no one has to cross m 
six to eight seats for reachmg a gangway. Uniform ai^licatien. of 
such rules in ril the States is very essenfiM. y ' 


93. aide-width available would depend luxm the apaeihg 
adlowed from the back of one chair to the back of the one bembd it, 
as well as the type of seats used, hi other countries, it is usual to 
specify the spacing, the minimum allowed being 30 inches to 32 inches 
while in many theatres it is 34 inches. The smaller spacing may 
be just adequate if chairs with pl3nvood backs are used, wim not 
too much slope to the back, but with upholstered chairs, the result 
usually is a chair with an inconveniently small seat or insufficient 
aide-width. The regulations covering this provision in India, which 
again apply only to some States but not all, s^ulate an aide-widdi 
•mf only 18 inches between rows of seats, while in most cases it is just 
12 inches. The use of tilt-up chairs provides greater facility of move- 
ment and the latest slide-back chairs obviate the need for people to 
^et up in order to let late-comers take their seats. The aisle-width 
to be specified would depend upon the type of seats used, but^ in any 
case, it seems essential to public safety to prescribe the minimum 
sude-width, whether the oack-to-back spacing is prescribed or not 

94. Ventilation. — ^The regulations in most States are inadequate 
In the matter of ventilation. The prime need is to provide at least 
for the infiux of fresh air to replace air that has been vitiated by. 
breathing. The provision of ceiling fans does not ensure the change 
of air; it only sets in motion the same air inside the auditorium. Ten 
to fifteen cubic feet of fresh air would be required every minute for 
«ach member of the audience and in the interests of health it is 
essential to provide positive means of ventilation. Mysore stipulates 
that ventilation openings should be at least one-eighth the area of 
the fioor of the auditorium, and. that at least two-thirds of the aper- 
tures should be kept open during the show. During the hours of day- 
light, the openings are covered oy heavy black curtains, and thou^ 
they are “open”, there is not much ventilation during the matinee 
end the early evening shows. Madhya Pradesh specifies outlet 
epertures at the top, and louvered shutters to the windows, but we 
feel that even then natural circulation will not be sufficient to pro- 
vide a sufficient volume of fresh air, particularly when ceiling fans 
are working against the natural direction of ventilation. Madras 
provides for the installation of one exhaust fan for every 500 ft. of 
noor area, but the size or capacity of the exhaust fan is not specified, 
-nor is there any stipulation that the fans should be operated when 
-the auditorium is bcoupied. Pxmjab and Himachal Pradesh merely 
i^cify that where .power-dri-ven exhaust fans are depended upon, 
mey shoiild be of adeqviate size and located suitably. 

95. Himachal Pradesh; Ajmer and Punjab insist on completely 
flushing the auditorium with fresh air between shows, the Ajmer 
regulations being particularly explicit. The only other State which 
bas given attention to this problem is Madhya Pradesh where an 
interval of 15 minutes is called for in the course of the show when 
4ll doors and windows we to be thrown open to change the air. 

96. Tlie regulations in many States, like West Bengal, Bihar, 
Orissa, Jainmu and Kashmir, have generally ignqred the question of 
ventilation while the U.P. has left it to the licensing authority to 
flecide whether ventilation is adequate. 

; 97j'r$^tor^ Mysore, Ajmer 

^atod Orilsa ha^ specific instructions 

satota^ mrangements but most of tlw other States have 


made no rules under the Cinematograph Act in this regal’d. Iia 
Madras,- Bombay, ete., this aspect would be covered by the rules- 
governing places of public resort, but in areas where such rules do 
not apply, the omission is serious. 

98. Fire precautiims. — ^The regulations in most of the States con- 
tain a reference to precautions against fire on the premises, but io 
some cases they are rather vague and it is left to the licensing autho- 
rity to decide whether the measures are sufficient, e.g. in Orissa, 
U.r., Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Some States have made specific 
regulations about the number and type of fire-extinguishers to be 
installed, but only Mysore and Hyderabad insist on the provision of 
fire hydrants, and for a telephone link with the fire-services. We 
cannot too much stress the need for a uniformly high standard of fire 
Iirecautions and for the provision of fire hydrants, or, in the alterna- 
tive, reservoirs of adequate capacity. 

99. Facilities for parking vehicles. — ^Privately-owned conveyances 
which may have to be parked on the premises while the owners are 
inside a cinema are invariably cycles, motor cycles and motor cars. 
The regulations in very few States make any specific provision for 
cycle-stands, though such stands are a necessity in all but a handful 
of theatres situated -in areas of high traffic density. In a large number 
of cinemas there is provision for cycle-stands which are generally 
run by contractors to whom the rights have been framed out, but the 
regulations do not insist upon the establishment of such stands.' Re- 
ference to car-parks exist in the regulations made in Ajmer, Pimjab 
and Madras but these are applied mainly to cinemas built recently 
or to be built hereafter. 

100. Cleanliness in the afiditarimn. — ^A few States have specified 
in the regulations that the auditorium be kept clean, but in most 
cases it is apparently left to be inferred as a natural corollary. No- 
specific provisions exist regarding the sale of drinks, eatables, 
cigarettes or pan inside the auditorium and apparently in most of 
the cinemas, the right of vending and hawking such articles is let 
out by the management on profitable terms. No State has had any- 
thing to say against the consumption of food and drink inside the 
auditorium, or against smoking or spitting. 

•101. The Indian Cinematograph Committee considered the ques- 
tion of smoking in the auditorium from the point of view .of viti- 
ation of the air, partial clouding of the screen by smoke, and offence 
to non-smokers, and though they made no definite- recommenda- 
tions in the matter, they appealed to exhibitors to consider carefully 
Whether permission to smoke attracts n^ore persons to cinemas than^ 
it keeps away. In Bombay city, smoking in the auditorium has been 
prohibited by the Commissioner of Police, and in Madras city a 
similar ban covers matinee shows, when the doors and windows are 
closed in order to exclude daylight. These orders have, however, 
been issued under the respective Polfce Acts and do not form part 
of the general regulations, though they apply only to cinemas and 
not to other places of public resort 

102. Stractnral soondness of bufiding,-— Tiie regulations in most 
of the States pro^de for verifying Ihe general stabili^ and sotmd- 
ness of the building before a licence is granted, irae licensing 
authority or a perscnl nominates by him is re^uh^ to satisfy him- 
aelf toat the building has been so construct^ iluit It inxrvidM^^ 


requii^ safety for the occupants. Orissa specifies that all galleries ^ 
and . stair-cases leading to galleries should also be strong enough to -- 
bear the weight of the maximum number of persons who could be* 
seated in the galleries. In Ajmer, Punjab, Hyderabad and Mysore, 
the regulations provide for inspection by an engineer both Before 
the licence is first granted and at the time of its renewal each year. 
In certain cases, however, the rules are not definite and it is not in- 
cumbent upon the licensing authority to arrange for inspection by 
a qualified engineer, A decision of the High Court of Madras has 
confirmed that the issue of a licence would not discharge the owner 
of the premises from responsibility of maintaining the structure in 
sound condition, but the decision is suggestive of the possibility that 
the inspection before licensing might not be adequate. 

103. Clear vision. — So far we have examined the regulations 
t which should apply to all places of public resort. A matter which 

requires special consideration in the case of cinemas more than in 
the case of other places of public resort is the provision of clear lines 
of vision. Certain requirements have to be complied with in order 
to ensure that every person in the auditorium has a clear view of the 
acreen without any eye-strain. The regulations in one or two 
States lay down the maximum angle which the line of vision may 
subtend with the near and far end of the screen from any seat, and 
«lso the maximum angle of downward or upward vision from the 
gallery or from the pit. These States are, however, exceptions, and 
in the majority of States, the cinema regulations make no special 
provision in this regard. This point was specifically raised by us in 
;me questionnaire, and the views of several witnesses were also elicit- 
ed in the course of oral examination. And as a result of these in- 
quiries, we are led to believe that while some cinemas are well laid 
out, the majority are extremely unsatisfactory. 

104. Another point to be kept in mind is the line of sight from the- 
aeat to the screen. In order to prevent obstruction of the view by 
people who sit in front, it is the current practice in other countries 
to stagger the seats so that no seat comes immediately in front of th» 
one behind it. To keep the ends of the row’s in a straight line and 
to avoid a ragged appearance, the procedure is to fit seats of varying • 
widths in each row. Sufficient attention has not been paid to this 
matter, and the cinema-goer has to keep fidgeting in his seat and 
drange his position to avoid his vision being blocked by. the move- 
ments of the man in front. 

105. l^ojection booths. — ^Another specific feature of cinemas is 
the provision of suitable projection booths. The regulations in . 
almost every State are comprehensive and, if at all, they err oh the 
side of abundant caution by retaining even today regulations about 
tile use of lime-lights, etc. The main difficulty in this connection is 
iqiparently the procedure laid down for inspection of installation. In 
many ci the States, it is only the Chief Electrical Inspector or a 
person duly authorised by him who can approve of the installation in., 
fee first instance or at the timd of renewal of licence. 

106. fiiSpieefimi and miforeaneitt.— -Inspection carried out under' 

tile regida^hs falls under four natuinl categories. There is, firstly, 
^:geiieral: ai^nval of the location which lies in the discretion of" 
fee Ihiaiiah^ w has been dealt with earlier. Them- 


“Come the different aspects of the buUdin^ itself; (a) shnictural* in* 
-eluding provision of exits, etc; (h) electneal, with particular r^er* 
ance to the projection booth; and (c) sanitaiy arrangements, includr 
ing ventilation. For verifying whether the regulations have been 
complied with, the services of a civil engineer, -an electrical enghieer 
■and a sanitary engineer or a medical officer would be required. Since, 
however, no special staff is employed in any State for the inspection 
r-of a cinema before the issue of a licence or even subsequently,, the 
licensing authority; who would be the Copunissioner of Police in 
Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and the District Magistrates in other 
areas, has to take the aid of officers from other public authorities As 
mentioned earlier, inspection by a civil engineer has been made 
compulsory only in the case of certain States. The civil en^eer is 
usually an engineer of the P.W.D. of the States, or the uarrispn 
Engineer in Cantonment areas in certain States. In any case, the 
-budding has to be examined by an officer of some other department. 
-In most of the States, the power to certify electrical installations is 
vested in the Electrical Inspector to Government, who, by the very 
natvure of his duties, must work directly imder the State Government 
and independently of other departments or authorities. The initia- 
tions regarding electrical inspection are so strict that in some area^ 
not even the slightest alteration is permitted to be carried out with- 
out the approv^d of the electrical inspector. This has been inters 
preted by local authorities to mean that even the replacement of 
working parts of machines has to be approved by the Electrical Ins- 
■ pector and this is reported to have caused considerable inconvenience 
to the exhibitors in mofussU towns who are compelled to shut down 
a theatre, after the replacement of spare parts, till the Electrical Ins- 
pector or his nominee could approve the change. In the case of Sani- 
tary and Health departments, the practice apparently varies in 
different areas. In some places particularly where the cinema is 
located in a municipal area, the municipal health officer is responsible 
for the inspection while, in other cases, the public health officer of 
the district is called upon to do it. in the case of municipal health 
inspectors, cases are reported of lack of co-ordination between the 
licensing authority and the mimicipal or other health authorities. 
In Delhi, the President of the Municipal Committee complained that 
' he did not have the authority to send the health staff into the cinema 
' when a show was bemg held. Any inspection, particularly with 
reference to sanitary arrangements and ventilation will have to be 
carried out only when the premises are in use. 

107. Many exhibitors in their evidence have stress^ the difficul- 
ties to which they are put in having to approach several officers 
working under various independent authorities for obtaining the 
certificates which are required before a licence could be granted to 
them. They have pleaded for the establishment of a single authorilv 
which would have the requisite staff for inspecting cinemas from aU 
points of view before a licence is issued pr renewed, or during the 
course of the licence. They have, aim c<^}>lained of being, directed 
to do mutually incompatible things, the civil engineer, for instance, 
asking them to carry out a change which the health ofteer fiorblda 
Whether such instances are reafor imagined, there £s no doubt that 
the present system has given rise to serioiP diifficultiM 
^veniences in practice ton account m multiidicity au 
Hack of coordinatirm. 


108. Eatcyfariiiniiait tax.— Entry 82 in List II of the Sev^ifh 
Schedule to the Constitution confers on the States the authority to 
.levy "taxes on luxuries, including; taxes on entertainments, amuse- 
.ments, betting and gambling”. Almost all the States have passed 
•local Acts authorising the levy of a tax on entertainments or amuse- 
:ments, which is payable also by cinemas. Entry 33 in the same List 
ireads as follows: — “Theatres and dramatic performances, cinemas 
;eubject to the provisions of entry 60 of List 1; sports, entertainments 
; ..snd amu.sements”. This gives rise to some confusion. If it was the 
i intention to consider cinemas, theatres and. dramatic perfo rm ances 
•either as entertainments or as amusements (coming within the scope 
• of Entry 62) the wording of this entry should obviously be different, 
.covering “other entertainments, amusements — ”. At the same time 
it is difficult to visualise the Constituent Assembly leaving cinemas 
'Out of -the field of State taxation, which would be the natural conse- 

S uence of Entry 62 if entertainments and amusements did not inr 
ude cinemas. 

109. The tariffs in force in the different States are set out in 
•Appendix XI. The point that is most obvious from an examination 
.of these tariffs is the wide differences between one State and an> 
.other, ^mbay, Bengal and Madras, where the majoiiity of the 
i cinemas are located, charge what may be termed “medium” rates, 
\ though in the case of Bengal the rates increase rapidly for the 
r higher-priced seats. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradedi 
[.charge a high rate even for the lower-priced seats. Assam and 
[•Orissa charge a lower tariff than the other States. 

110. In two of these cases, Bengal and U.P. an exemption is made 
; in the case of very low-pric§d ticxets. It is doubtful whether any 
.cinema can, at present costs, run shows even in rural areas at two 
annas per head*, which is the maximum in the U.P., for tax-free ad- 
; 'mission, or even at three annas per head provided for in BengaL 
I Madras where the number of touring cinemas is the largest and 
where the greatest justification for exemption may be considered to 
-exist, does not consider such a concession necessary. 

111. The figures of tax collections in different States are given in 
Appendix X u. The total revenue in 1949-50 amounts to nearly ^ 
• -crores of rupees and will probably be in excesoof 6 crores of hipeM 
in 1950-51. 

112. M^ods ot assessment and collection.— There is consider- 
able variation in the methods of assessing the tax and of collecting 
it. The most usual method is to charge a tax on each ticket sold, but 
in some , cases the cinema is assessed a fixed sum per week. Even 
where the tax is levied on the tickets, the methods of collection differ. 
. Jn some cases, the exhibitor has to affix, on each ticket a stamp for 
the amount of the tax; in other cases, the amount of the tax is uiown 
• in print, oh the tickets which are serially nxunbered and the tax is 
•ooUected after checking the balance of unsold tickets in stock. Jn 
•certain cases the amount is stamped on the face of the ticket with a 
' rubb^ stamp end tax is collected on the number of tictets stamped. 
Ih ceii^ amessed On the basis of the accounts pro- 

by th^ and according to the tickets sold. Complaints 

^ the tax have reached the Ckanmittee ftom 

Histrffnitcsrs complain that their share of the box 
.^imoe f lOhi the figures prepared for taxation 


purooses and evasion of tax is causing less of revenue to distributorss 
ana producers too. In Bombay they have offered to help in detecting: 
evasion by sending their own representatives along with the tax 
inspectors, but the proposal has not been accepted. In Delhi too they 
have complained of evasion and have mentioned, as proof of its 
existence, the increase in returns from the U.P. when that State 
tightened up its procedure. The Taxation Commissioner in the 
U.P. reported a sudden increase in revenues when he made some 
additions to his inspecting staff. Cinema workers in Madras com- 
plained that exhibitors were guilty of large scale evasion and that 
the actual earnings of the cinemas were much higher than the 
figures . disclosed. 

113. The effect of the tax on the industry is being examined in a' 
later Chapter. 

114. Taxation by local bodies. — ^Though Entertainment tax is- 
generally levied by the State Governments, the powers of taxation 
delegated to Local bodies have been so worded in most cases that 
Municipalities and Panchayat Boards also levy taxes on cinemas. 
For instance, in Bombay, Municipaiities and Cantonments levy a 
tax on cinemas under section 73 (XIV) of the Bombay Municipal 
Boroughs Act 1925. which empowers Municipalities to levy “any 

other taxes winch under the Government of India Act 1935 the 

Provincial Legislature has power to enforce in the Provinces.” The 
rules for the leVy of the lax are framed under .section 58 of the 
Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act. A test case filed in Nasik re- 
sulted in a jvidgment of which the following is an extract: “There 
being a specific clause regarding the imposition of a particular tax 
within a particular list. I am of opinion that should prevail in pre- 
ference to any other item applied by implication. I am therefore of 
opinion that the Municipality has the authority to impose the tax 
in question and that it is a tax neither on professions, trades, callings 
nor employments.” The judge’s view was that the tax was specifi- 
cally a tax on entertainments and that as such it was within the 
power of the Municipality to levy it. Apparently the legal effect of 
the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act is to empower the Municipali- 
ties to lew/ an entertainment tax, but whether such a tax should be- 
levied both by the State Government and by the Municipality was 

< not a legal question for the court to pronounce its verdict upon.- 

115. The further examination of this double taxation is being 
taken up in Chapter VII which deals with all aspects of exhibition. 

116. Copyright protection.— Under entry 49 in List I of the- 
Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the Union Parliament has 
power to legislate on the subject of copyrighf for all the States in. 
the Union. The law of copyright at present in- force in India is- 
materially the same as in the United Kingdom. By a Proclamation- 
dapted the 31st October 1912, the English Copjrright Act of 1911 was 
extended to British India, and later in pursuance of the provisions 
of Section 27 of that Act, the Indian Copyright Act of 1914 was p^usMd 
^ the Indian Legislature, adapting sups'^tially the 

iht Act 

the English Act with a few variations. The Ihdiah .CQi: 
was mriginally made applicable to the areas that i 
Bidia”, but was siibsecmently extended to. some States 
JSxtia-Provtncial Jurismetion Act. Exteii^bh the Abt^^t^ 
er ateas not now Covered will reqpii^ IqgilslbU^,. . ^ 

1 37 

117. Esbsting protection for film. — cinematograph film can 
today have copyright protection as an artistic work and also as a 
^dramatic work. As an artistic work, it will enjoy copyright on the 
I aame terms as other such works, as provided for in section I of the 
I English Copyright Act, the substance of which has been incorporated 
in the Indian Act. Under this section, copyright subsists in two 
. ^ categories of “published” works; (a) those first published in the 

I British Dominions, and (b) unpublished works, if the author wda 

at the date of the making of the work a British subject or a resident 
in the British Dominions. “Publication” is defined as being con- 
I fined to the issue of copies of the work to the public and not to ex- 
j. tend to the performance of a dramatic vrork. Since, in the general 

I sense, copies of films are not issued to the public, and since the 

i public exhibition of a film cannot be considered to be “publication’^ 

as defined in Section 1(3) of the Act, the film is entitled only to the 
protection afforded to an “unpublished”, work. 

I 118. The protection conferred on films regarded as “unpublished 

J work” is held to subsist under Section 1(1) (b) of the Copyright Act, 

I 1911, only if the author v/as at the date of the making of the work, 

a British subject, or a resident within the “Provinces of India”. That 
is to say, generally speaking, the protection with regard to the right 
to perform the film will not be available to films produced outside 
the “Provinces” by persons who arc not British subjects. In such 
cases, again, the rights can be protected by first publishing a short 
description of the story and the substance of the film in a book form 
within the “Provinces”, because, “the printing and publishing the 
'libretto or the score of a dramatic work is regarded to be a publica- 
tion of the work”, and by such first publication, the provisions of 
section 1(1) (a)- will be attracted. Such a method is not only involv- 
ed, but likely to be unsatisfactory since the book cannot in any 
manner represent the entire contents of the film. If the copyright * 
IS brought into existence only by the publication of the book, it would 
1)6 difficult to extend the protection to features not covered in the 
1 book. 


119. Copyright of film content. — ^In so far as it consists of a series 
of photographs, a film may be deemed to be an artistic work and en- 
titled to protection; in the Indian Copyright Act, a film is not 
regarded as form of original work entitled to protection as su<^ 
The International Convention of 1908 for Copj^ight says, “without 
prejudice to the rights of the author of the original work, the repro- 
duction by cinematography of a literary, - scientific or artistic work 
^all be protected as an original work”. This has been reiterated in 

the Convention of 1948 signed at Brussels on the 26th June, 19^. 
But the definition of literary and artistic works needs to be extended 
"by the signatories, to that Convention to cover cinematograph wprto 
;^pecific^^, and this requires legislation. Under Section I of Article 
2o of the OTUssefe 'Convention, India as a member country signing the 
-Convention, is required to ratify it and deposit the ratification, at 
Brussels not later Ihan lst Jetfy 1951. To confer; in India, the speefllc 
coKnij^t in die contents of the, film which has been recognised by 
«onyehtioh, it would appear necessa^ to amend the Indian Act suit- 

120, ^ Aim Copyright in films is 

aoqiniteii under the Asterican Law by^^ r^^ and depdsit of Um 

7 v Act impo)^ compulsory 


registration of films, the details to be registered being specified 'wittft 
particular reference to the place where the film was made and the* 
proportions of wages and salaries paid in Britain and outside in order 
to determine whether the film would qualify under the system of 
quotas for the showing of indigenous films. The Indian Cinemato- 
^aph Committee suggested the enforcement of similar registration 
in India. It was thought that registration of the title, with a des- 
cription of the work is suflicicnt to indentify it. and one or more 
photographs . taken from each scene or sequence of the picture would 
ordinarily sulTice to ascertain if any pictures which infringe the copy- 
right of others are proposed to be made or exhibited. While this 
precaution might have been considered adequate in the early stages 
of the industry, it would seem that today such protection would not 
be sufficient. Several witnesses who appeared before this Committee 
have spoken of the dependence of a large number of producers on 
pirated thimies, ideas and arrangements of sequences in the produc- 
tion of their pictures. It would appear, therefore, necessary that if 
the entire l ights of a him ar-e to be sufficiently .safeguaided, a com- 
plete copy of the him must be r’equired to be deposited with a central 
authority, who could produce it in court in case of disputes. 

121. Copyright in subject matter.— The right to make cinema 
films is a literary copyright appertaining to the ownership of copy- 
right in a litei‘ary or dramatic w^ork. In this connection article 14(i) 
of the Br'ussels Convention lays down that “authors of literary,, 
scientific or artistic works shall have the exclusive right of authoris- 
ing: (i) the cinematographic adaptation and reproduction of these- 
works, and the distribution of the Avorks thus adapted or reproduced; 
(ii) the public presentation and performance of the works thus 
adapted or i’(\oroduced'\ From the evidence placed before us, it 
would appear’ that there are instances when Indian producers have 
infringed such literary copyright of authors by plagiarising the 
contents of such copyright works. There appears to be no association 
of Authors and Playwrights as exist in the UK and elsewhere to 
take up the cause of the injured authors, who by themselves are un- 
able to defend their own rights. On the other hand, there also appear 
to be cases of unwitting plagiarism, studios accepting as originals 
certain palpable adaptations of copyright material. A third compli- 
cation is added by the claims, real or false, that studios have stolen 
ideas and themes from unpublished material submitted to them for 
acceptance. In order to safeguard themselves against such risks, 
Hollywood producers accept stories only from known and authentic 
sources, and return, unread, any material sent to them unsolicited. 
Such a practice would deprive Indian producers of a great deal of 
useful material. The remedy has been suggested that a story Bureau 
run by authors co-operatively, with which producers could deal and 
which is authorised to treat on behalf of the author-members, should 
be set up to assist the industry, the intention being that such an orga- 
nisation could take upon itself also the task of dealing with questions - 
of copyright both on behalf of its members and of authors and play- 
wrights abroad. We are examining this suggestion later in this . 



122. The film as a means of communication. — Priniaiily the filni 
is a mechanical means of displaying to a large number of people a 
series of photographs depicting action. The feeling of motion is 
imparted by the sequence in which the photographs are taken and 
displayed, and the addition of sound enables the presentation of the 
words spoken by the participants as well as the incidental sounds 
and music. The film as a whole, therefore, reproduces or purports 
to repioQuce an entire dramatic sequence of actions which convey 
certain specific themes and ideas. By its nature, the film is able to 
overcome many of iht-^ limitations of the drama, particularly with 
regard to lime and space, and it has. therefore, a greater range of 
presentation. The impression sought to be conveyed, however, is 
that the action is taking place in front of the audience. This adds 
to the movement a vividness, an element of life and sensation, and 
an essentially human interest which transform it into a visible 
personal experience. In this lies at once the powei* and danger of 
the film fiom the public or social point of view. 

123. In India, today, tfie film has a coverage of about 16 lakhs 
persons per day, and it is. therefore, comparable in its influence to 
the daily press. It approaches in coverage the radio with less than 
five lakiis subscribers and perhaps four limes that number of 
listeners. There are besides certain factors that distinguish the film 
from the press or the radio. There is a much larger variety in the 
day to day film audience which does not exist in the picss or radio 
clientele. What the latter two attain by repeated contact with the 
same subjects, the film achieves by greater coverage and by the 
simultaneous presentation of images both to the eye and the ear. 
This combined appeal would obviously score over the coldness of 
print or the abstraction of the other. The direct approach of the 
newspaper to its reader, or the intimate approach of the radio in the 
family circle, is replaced by the polyvalent approach of the film to 
its audience; the message is conveyed arousing vivid psychological 
reactions in each individual separately, in a darkened room where 
hundreds are assembled; there is the feeling of mass participation in 
a common experience, but, at the same time, each individual is free 
to savour the fine points according to his own interpretation, and to 
react in his own close personal way. Moreover, the press can reach 
only those who have acquired a certain standard of proficiency in a 
particular language and this greatly restricts the scope of its appeal 
and its power to impress, and the extension of both in the immediate 
future. The radio requires that the person who wants to utilise this 
means of communication should invest a certain amount of capital 
on the purchase of the necessary equipment and its maintenance; 
there is also an impression among radio listeners of a monopolistic 
direction of news and programmes. The film, however, with its 
mixed fare served by a variety of personalities, can reach anybody 




can pay tlie price of admission, and the capital investment 
required for the “consumption” of the product is provided by the 
industry itself. Television can duplicate what the film is able to do 
in the cinema by bringing moving pictures and related sound into 
the homo, but its approach, like the radio, v/ill still be intimate and 
personal. Apart from the fact that television for India is still a far-* 
off development, it cannot, even when it comes, convey like the 
cinema, an impression of living realities seen through a window 
overlooking the world. 

,124. Tlie jHiu a work cf art. — It is the claim of many engaged 
in tae iridostry, conceded by some of its critics, that the film is also 
a wovl: of ail. To other fields of art, such as painting, sculpture, 
literature or mu/fic. the arvislic work is the product of one single 
individual. Ho o fi.eo a poem or a iiovch makes a statue or composes 
a o. He cae compieto iho work v/ithout iiaving to enlist the aid 
of (il. aud pro vided he can maouge to keep body and soul to- 
get)v:!\ <he c::^pi"in that ho reiuiircs for ccmpletion of his creative 
v;oiv: i;-; voi Iai.:?c. It is true that the economic exploitation of a book 
a r.r.;: iv investment of capital by publishers, but this does 

nefi ar'ifi; 

, ;o ibe crei 

avt cl the 


Thz .fiini, however, is the 

rc’'.'u. c,!. 


v'- » 0.1 1 ! 

: j i. it 00 mo 


:.k for itself, it wotdd have 

a suw;; \ 

.4 rbv ■■’Ul.u’' 

' ■ r< 

/hfic, a hi 

,.r OJ 

deep human interest and 

Cl *. ■■ L . ■ ' ; i. 

dl OL 


•Old inuTi! 

■y >s. 

Tin: cameraman and the 

SOI.:;::' ei' 

gineer h-''::;", 

:r to p 

:l c.n }‘c: 00 ' C 

i Iho 

image:-; and sounds created 

l)\ ihe 

i ec::.'. < 

‘ * ; l 

x.\x of 


v: erected by the art- 


Tin:- v/(. ... 

' ill 

nu.niCj!' Cjosj' 


und cieated bv a oifferent 

sei o: sHi.Us. et yet another person who 

adds liirs ov.n coauinution to 'u-e uitiinrd.e product. In tliis manner, 
a cornj:;osiio work is created in v/lrich ail h-ave played their part but 
for wliich none can claim, exclusive credih There is a homogeneity 
and i-nifiy imparted by concerted ci’rectio.ii but even that direction is 
gen -I liliy the result of diverse counsels and influences. The film is 
thus a typical product of t]>e current age in which co-operative effort 
is inereaiiingly becoming the recognised form of public endeavour: 
in ef'^'ect, it represents the extension of such co-operation to the world 
of art. 

i'V>. The fslin as a picfsuet of iHiinsiry. — As a product of industry, 
iho Ohn is an almost perfect example of l;.e doctrine of unity of 
produciion. distribution and consumption. TIjc film is produced by 
vho ioiiit eiloj'i of a number of workens. Xt is exhibited on premises 
provided and equipped by a third set of people. Sometimes all the 
Ihro':: ptrascs of the industry may work under unified control. The 
nature oi tr?c film is condilioneS by the needs of production, distri- 
bution and ex^'iibilion, and it must depend for its existence and its 
economic success on the fact that it is an article of mass production 
and ^oT'.sumption. The facility with which a number of copies can 
1)0 nv'vJo 0 . 1 ’ a film, its small bulk and light weiglit ajid the low cost 
oi reproducing the picture before any audience (as compared to a 
stay.v i>ros.‘utati.on) permit the distribution of the first cost over a 
largo number of consumers. In other words, the vast group of con-' 
sumen*. place fairly large sums of money at the disposal of the pro- 
ducer and ho is able to command the services of a large number of 
specialists none of wdjom may be responsible for more than a small 


fraction of the total work. Moreover, as in the case of other 
“intellectual” industries like the production of books, gramophone 
records, radio, or television, the consumers number millions and the 
individual is lost in the multitude. The product cannot be tailored 
to the ideas of individual producer or for the taste of the individual 
cinema-goer. Those who would like their personal ideas projected 
on the screen, would do well to keep in mind this elementary tact. 

126. Prejudice against the film. — While those engaged in the 
industry are apt to look upon it primarily as a commodity to be sold 
for profit, there are some outside who fear that the film, in wrong 
hands, may become a dangerous influence and corrupt society. Such 
a prejudice is not in any way the special misfortune of the film alone. 
When printing was invented, it was viewed with equal horror by 
some moralists of that age, who were depressed by the thought of 
the consequences that would follow if every one could read and thus 
gain access to all kinds of thoughts that found expression in writing. 
It is sometimes forgotten that what has been discovered and develop- 
ed is primarily a means of communicating ideas. We have no sym- 
pathy with those who abhor the spread of ideas; in the world of 
today, the fruit of knowledge cannot be the privileged possession of 
a few. It would be an insult to human intelligence to assume that 
whatever is communicated is accepted, and whatever is served 
necessarily pleases the palate and satisfies the taste. Even the worst 
critics of man do not deny him the saving virtue of discrimination. 

127. Notwithstanding the opinion of aesthetes that the film is a 
piece of art, the large majority of the public who pay for it regard 
it primarily as an entertainment. The attitude of those responsible 
for regulating the entertainment of the public has changed in the 
course of time. During the Hindu .period of our history, providing 
entertainment for the public was one of the responsibilities of the 
king. He was the patron of all artistes who sought to entertain the 
public, whether the. entertainment itself had any pretensions to art 
or not. No festival was complete without a play, a dance or a musical 
recital which enjoyed royal patronage and which the public could 
witness. Later, partly under the influence of puritanical trends, 
manifested in religious thought that spread in the East or of sects 
which captured the West, and partly under the stress and strain i f 
mediaeval struggles for survival among States, peoples or 
nationalities, the value of social fimctions of an artistic or entertain- 
ing type received lesser attention or patronage from the kings. In 
India, under alien rule this tendency was accentuated, and cultural 
entertainment, which was once part of family or community activities 
shranTc into a profession, confined to, cultivated and preserved by, 
those who were debarred from respectable society. The film, owing 
to its close association with the arts of music, dance and historionics 
has also suffered from the prejudices engendered by these historical 
and social influences. The result is that notwithstanding the liberal- 
ism professed in life and art, to many in this country, the pleasure 
derived from seeing films is by itself bordering on the sinful and they 
regard the cinema as an instrument of moral degeneration rather 
than as a medium for the cultivation of the useful and the beautiful 
attributes of life. 

7Hof Z.B.— 4 

n 42 

128. What is entertainment? — The conception that the \!inema is 
inherently evil has not, perhaps, done as much harm as the other 
conception, so sedulously fostered by the film industry, that the film 
which is produced, being primarily intended for eidiibition in 
cinemas, should be looked upon purely as entertainment. In the 
Indian Constitution, cinemas themselves are included in the classi- 
fication of entertainment, and during the course -of our enquiry, pro- 
ducers and distributors were never tired of impressing on us the 
fact that they consider the film purely as entertainment. In our 
judgment, this view is a mere excuse for the poverty of art and talent 
in the industry and an apology for the mediocrity which aboiuids in 
it. For those who aim only to exploit the cinema-going public, enter- 
tainment is synonymous with what is cheap and will pander to the 
lower taste of the audience, and whether healthy in character or 
not, will attract the people in large numbers and yield substantial 
profits to those who provide it. 

129. A film, while it is entertaining, might leave good, bad or 
indifferent imprccsiona on the people who see it. The subject matter 
of the film itself might have been conceived and presented (as it 
occasionally is even now) in a manner that would set people thinking 
or dreaming. It can help readjust attitudes, the relations between 
different members of a .family unit or of different communities in 
society and promote idealism or some ideology. It can develop 
ethical ideas, fairness and tolerance and even produce selfiessness and 
sacrifice. On the other hand, the subject matter may have quite 
the contrary effect. It is no more difficult to produce an "entertain 
ing” film conveying one set of ideas than the other. A film enlivens 
while it entertains, it teaches while it amuses, and it creates a world 
of impressions and ideas in which humanity at times seeks refuge 
from frustration, discontent and the hard realities of existence. 

130 “Eealism” and "Escape”. — While there are certain critics who 
condemn the film as “escapist” or “unreal”, others have considered 
this a justification- for excluding its motifs from the scope of critical 
examination. Those who look upon the film only as a means of pro- 
viding relief from the burdens of the day, sometimes ignore the 
fact that anodynes can have unpleasant and even dangerous after- 
effects. While there can be no objection to a fantasy' which helps 
to divert the mind from immediate problems or Irom conflicts that 
cannot be quickly resolved, we cannot tolerate a film which leaves 
the audience subsequently in a mental state that sustains or ignores 
the conflict or prevents future readjustment. Providing an “escape” 
into an “unreal” world should be condemned when that world is 
based solely on wish-fulfilment, and enables the subject not only to 
, escape his responsibilities but to enjoy the sensation of having dis- 
diaiged them. On the other hand, escape into an ideal world where 
the highest principles hold sway can have the effect of niotiyati^ 
right action and bringing about, in this world, the conditions that 
are depicted in the ideal world. "Escape” by itself is not r^re- 
hepsible, provided the place and the manner in wMdi escape is 
sought are correctly chosen. 

131. Propagtutda through ^tortahlnu^t.— Ouite otien* when wei 
suggOTted to the producers that films should, wherever possible, 

4 ^ 

isharpenihg the judgment of the people who see them, they have 
invariably replied that such aim would convert the films into a 
medium of “propaganda" instead of “entertainment”. And if films 
were to be produced for “propaganda”, they should come within the 
province of Government but certainly not be the responsibility of 
the industry. The word “propaganda” in its original application 
meant only the spreading of a particular doctrine or the taking of 
any action for the purpose of spreading that doctrine. Recently, 
however, mainly because of the use of propaganda for spreading 
certain doctrines like Nazism, the word has acquired a bad odour 
and has come to imply the distortion of facts or their concealment, 
the making of false statements and generally deluding the public 
for the purpose of influencing them into an intended channel of 
thought and action. The original significance of the word “propa- 
ganda” as imparting information has, therefore, been missed. So 
when the producers refer to the propagation of doctrines of freedom, 
justice, f airplay, duty or sacrifice tlnrough the film as “propaganda”, 
they apparently harbour the idea that to propagate a doctrine is 
something reprehensible, irrespective of its nature and purpose, and 
that people who desire to do so must have some axe to grind. They 
seem ready to concede that a Government (for reasons of its own) 
should be anxious to propagate certain axiomatic doctrines, but they 
<io not consider it their personal responsibility to help in doing so. 
This attitude follows from their shallow conception of entertaining 
the public and their professed disregard of the consequences that 
might follow from the type of entertainment provided. It completely 
ignores the public responsibility which attaches to any users of media 
capable of moulding and influencing mass minds and emotions. It 
is also typical of the attitude which unfortunately prevails among 
a large section of public in the country that duties of a public nature 
are the exclusive province of the State, and private individuals or 
bodies have no responsibility or part to play. 

132. Entertainment value as criterion.— We have gone into some 
detail to explain the need to go behind the declared objective of a 
film to provide “escape” or “entertainment” and to ascertain the 
means by which it seeks to fulfil that object. The entertainment 
value of a film, no doubt, determines its success at the box office, but 
this cannot be the sole criterion. The producer cannot seek justifica- 
tion from the fact that a film has proved entertaining, if the socio- 
logical effect of it has been definitely harmful. The film has a certain 
responsibility to society in no way less than the responsibility of tfie 
press or the radio. In our opinion, this responsibility cann ot, be dia- 
charged even by the negative precaution of keeping out items which 
mhy be proved harmful. The approach must be positive, constructive 
and healthy. 

18S. Etteei film on mam mind.— The extent to which the 
behaviour and attitudes of the audience are affected by the film has 
been a matter of controversy, and varied opinions have .been ex- 
pr^ed. in the e^dehce placed before us. There is one school of 
thought which holds that, while the film may affect the immediate 
bi^viour of a section of the audience, it has very little effect on their 
liScsg-teiSiL dftitUdes.' In suppOit Of this theory, it has been argued 

the Cinema, cames with him certain 
ftdS4d beli^ 'aif^pt a diange in»hls attitudes 


which does, not conform to such basic ideas. Another school holds 
that the impressions left by the cinema are deep and lasting, being 
Conveyed to the audience in conditions most suitable for hypnosis; 
the darkened hall and the passive attitude of the cinema-goer who 
lets himself be carried away by the sights and sounds presented to 
him are, they say, extremely effective in increasing the susceptibility 
of the individual • to suggestion. We have heard the evidence of 
psychologists who said they were convinced that even if impression- 
able youngsters were known to imitate the favourite poses of popular 
stars, they would not be persuaded to change their commonly accept- 
ed notions and attitudes of right and wrong in social ethics and 
behaviour, even with years of regular cinema-going. The experts 
have further said that stray instances of young people who have been 
lured into copying in their owij lives what they had seen on the 
screen were really cases of neurosis or of 'unbalanced minds, and that 
the effect of the cinema was no more than what would have been 
caused by any casual incident in their lives. On the other hwd, 
many educationists who appeared before us, expressed themselves 
deeply concerned with what they considered deplorable and sub- 
versive changes brought about by the cinema in the youth of today. 

134. Psychology of condemnatory criticism.— There is, no doubt, 
some truth in the accusation made in other countries that many of 
the people who have been most critical of the cinema are those whose 
influence generally is being undermined by the cinema. Parents 
and educationists who feel that their grip on the youth of today is 
slipping gradually, have ascribed the effect to the influence of the 
cinema. Heroes of the market place, who fear they are being 
gradually displaced in popular preference by film stars, have been 
no less critical of the social effects of the cinema. The question is 
whether, and if so to what extent, the cinema alone is responsible 
for changes in the attitude of youth, and how far these changes are 
due to lack of understanding by elders of the aspirations and the 
modes of thought of the younger generation. Moreover, if the youth 
of today take film st^rs as their idols to a large extent, they also 
idolise champions in the field of sport and athletics. We cannot let 
ourselves be influenced in our assessment of the sociological effect of 
the film by the feelings of the displaced idols of yesterday in one 
case more than in the other. 

135. Responsibility of elders.— There has been considerable 
unanimity among the witnesses that those most liable to be thrown 
off their balance by the influence of the cinema are those whose home 
life has not been satisfying and on whom parental instruction or 
influence has been deficient. The inference to be drawn is that 
apparently today when the contending factors that claim, the atten- 

.^tlon of you^ are both powerful and numerous, it is evermore 
essential than in the past that elders ought to display greaterWder- 
atandkkg and pay ifloser attention to the bringing up of youth rattier 
than attempt to set the clock back by banishing from ttieir nottoe the 
existence and the influence of books; social contacts, or the pi^ the 
or the radio. 

136. iQie i^peal at the flUav---Thi8, however, is not ito be tak^ 
a defence of the stottis quo. Qa the o^trary, we wisa to 

the grave sodgl responsibility that devolves on ttoi 



films and the necessity of their devoting greater care in the selection 
of the material which is presented on the screen. It is generally 
conceded that people can learn much quicker from a film than from 
a book. This observation is made with reference to subjects taught 
alternatively through books or through films, and really means that 
ideas can now be spread more quickly through the pictorial medium 
of the film than through any other means. The film presents in an 
interesting manner both pictures and sound, and overcomes the limi* 
tations of time and space, and thus can present each subject in a 
form most suitable for easier comprehension. It is not to be denied 
that where a subject conveyed by the film is not irreconcilable with 
the basic mental pattern of the viewer, the film can convey quicker 
and more permanently fix any given idea in the mind of the viewer. 
It is only about the film that carries a theme which violates the pre- 
conceived ideas of the viewer that there is any difference of opinion 
among psychologists regarding its effect on the viewer, some holding 
that' he would not accept such ideas in any case, while others feel 
that by persistent repetition, it is possible to make the viewer accept 
as true, even the ideas which require a basic change in the previous 
background of knowledge. Our own view is that in the conditions of 
today, films can destroy by persistent presentation as false, unreal 
or ineffective even strongly held beliefs. In a mood of frustration, 
one is seldom governed by theory; one is more often persuaded by 

137. Psychological effect of film themes.— It is in the ' possible 
effect of such themes that the greatest danger may be said to arise 
out of the cinema. Even if we accept the views of psychologists that 
no man would take from the. screen an idea that is in violation of 
his accepted principles or pre-conceived ideas, we have . to ask 
whether the film does not present in a highly palatable form ideas 
which maji, perhaps be rejected by >a mature mind but would be 
readily absorbed by impressionable youth.. Let us take, for example, 
the theme underlying a large number of films that educated girls 
make pretty poor housewives. In most films, the educated bride is 
depicted as a flippant society butterfly who can rarely find the time 
to look after her household or bring up her children properly. In 
many of them, she is shown also as a flirt. Occasionally the story 
ends with the reformation of her character but quite often it is the 
village girl who can barely read or write who goes to the rescue of 
the family or saves the hero from the downward path. , Of course, 
no producer states in specific terms that every girl who receives 
higher education is immediately turned into a vain and shallow 
creature and that in consequence education is bad for girls. They 
say they are only depicting a number of cases of such unsatisfactory 
results of higher education and it is the fault of the public if they 
draw the wrong inference. But taken, in conjunction with the almost 
total lack of any themes where higher education among women has 
served a useful purpose, it would not be surprising if a very large 
number of people with limited experience of social life and Who 
have not re^y come into contact with e4ucated women, come to the 
•fotafly false conclusion that education is undesirable and even 
dan^ioua fpr our^ w^ of course, deny that it 

iviw ei^i^ the such an iinpression and. even questibn 

: sudh an iinpressinnt^uld ever be created by the fihns they 


have produced. We have, however, the evidence of a number of 
social workers as well as of educationists to show that such fUms 
have had a very detrimental effect on the cause of women’s edU“ 
cation. It is not merely the conservative few' that have snatched at 
this chance to ridicule all efforts at imparting education to gii^^> hut 
even those who were not biased in any way but through their inertia 
chose the easier path of neglecting the education of their children, a 
have taken advantage of the theme enunciated by the film producers. 

The mind of the public is more certainly violated by the repeated 
plugging of false axioms than by occasional exposure to an off-colour 
joke. There is also the familiar story — rather over-exploited — of v 

naturalness, innocence, coyness, genuineness of emotions ^d love 
and devotion finding their permanent abode in a village maiden and 
artificiality, undesirable sophistication, coquetry, hypocrisy, selfish- 
ness and deceit being embodied in an educated girl of the town. Both 
these themes are far removed from the realities of life; yet both are 
the usual stock-in-trade of producers who are unable or ill-equipped 
to break new ground or explore channels other than those which 
have led in the past to box-office successes. There can be no denying 
the fact that the presentation of these two themes in such a distorted 
manner is likely in itself, and more so by repetition, to engender in 
the mind of the less sophisticated or sophisticated but frustrated 
audience false or unreal notions of short-cuts to love, a wrong sense 
of values, and warped or jaundiced outlook on life. 

138. The proper role of films.— We should like to say that we do • 
not accept the too narrow interpretation of their functions and res- 
ponsibilities which a majority of producers and even other import- 
ant persons in the industry would like us to adopt. Films, whether 
depicting or escaping from the realities of life, are not and caimot 
be its “bloodless substitutes”; in the very nature of things, films' must 
inspire and stimulate or dispirit and demoralise except in a few cases 
where their only role is to make the audience “lauglT away their 
blues”. Nor are we prepared to go to the other extreme, and accept 
for the films the didactic role; they can never aspire to render un- 
necessary the healthy influence of the home or the educative 
character of the class or lecture room. Nor for that matter can they 
take the place of life’s stress and strain — experiences of men and 
things, its formative features or the poetic conception of the “potters’^ 
craft”, as enunciated in Omar Khayyam or Browning’s l^bbi ben 
Ezra. We have no doubt whatsoever that films as an important 
means of communication of ideas, as an interpretation of life tnrough ^ 
art and a vehicle of artistic expression itself, as the productive effwt 
of co-operation and collaboration, at once a record and revelation of 
impressions and experience, and exploring one of the very effective 
and subtle formative influences, namely entertainment, «have an 
important cultural and sociological significance and as such a valp- 
able formative role. This role can neither be ignored nor undar- 
estimated. To ignore it would be a public danger; to underestimate 
it would be an open display of i^orance. Obviously, . therefore, 
these are aspects which make it incumbent upon- the State and the 
community to shed their apathy or indifference and to ensum. that 
the films which are passed for exhilfition otl which are, -seenj;; ^ 
healthy and desirable and make their due con^bulion t^ : 

tag up of national character in its divense aspiscta. : . , 


139. We realise that the issues which we have raised here are of 
a controversial but none the less vital nature. They concern both 
the bas^ of human emotions and psychology and the audience’s 
approach to the film; they also raise some of the very fundamental 
problems connected with the sociological aspect of films. To escape 

, facing directly and boldly these issues 

would be, on our part, an abdication of our responsibilities and would 
seriously affect both the manner and quality of our approach to our 
task. We have, therefore, thought it best clearly to state the position 
as we have seen it even at the risk of provoking controversy or invit- 
ing polemical challenge to our views. 

140. How are pictures chosen? — We would like to review here the 
factors which attract audiences to the cinemas. The questionnaire 
that we had issued to the public sought to elicit information on how 
the public chooses the films to visit. Owing to the comparatively 
small number of replies that we had received to these questions, it 
would not be possible to assess the relative influence of the various 
factors with any degree of accuracy or validity. We may, however, 
say that we were surprised by the great reliance placed on the recomr 
mendations of friends, the scant faith in newspaper reviews, the total 
scepticism in the opinions of film journals and finally the lower place 
that the public assigns to star values as compared with the almost 
total dependence on these among producers and distributors. There 
were many references to the importance attached to a good story 
wherever this was known already to the public as in the case of 
films produced from well-known novels. In view of the fact that 
such stories form only a small proportion of the plots of modern 
Indian films, it is not perhaps surprising that the public have not 
been able to choose more films by the story. . We may in this context 
quote the findings of public opinion research in the United Kingdom. 
The percentage of people choosing to visit a picture for any one of 
the reasons set out below is given against each: — 





















Friends’ recommendations- 




“It’s British” 




(The total number of persons exceeds 100 per cent, becaute some 
people had given more than one reason for their choice.) 

141. Filin in Illation to the audiwice.-— We have already referred 
to the views, expressed by tnariy producers about the relationships 
that must ^bs|st between the main element of the film-entertain- 
jnent and the audience demands. Their reasoning, obviously domi- 
nated by cbmmercial considerations and the narrow conception of 
thi^ dttties and rfes^nsibilities, is somewhat as follows:— If Rs. 100 
^ ^ at" n ^ the entertainment tax usually absorbs 

; the' -briance of Rs. 75, the exhibitor retains half, and 

- ^ His expenses and share of 

take away fa sn)iitairt|ai prppbrtioh of this arnount and the 


producer gets Rs. 25 or so. In other words, the producer’s share of 
the takings at the box office is only 25 per cent. If a picture, say, 
Costs from Rs. 3 to Rs. 5 lakhs and has to earn a profit, the collections 
at the box office must be from Rs. 12 to Rs. 20 lakhs. The average 
cost of admission is about eight annas per person and therefore each 
film must be seen by 25 to 40 lakhs of people before tfie producer can 
get any return on his investment. Consequently, it is necessary for 
the producer to plan and make the film in such a way that it appeals 
to a large number of people. With the present distribution of spend- 
ing power among the various categories of the population, it becomes 
necessary for the producer to aim at catering to the largest group 
in the population, which is made up mainly of those who crowd the 
cheaper seats in the cinemas, and whom one might call the culturally 
under-privileged. It becomes, therefore, necessary for the producer 
to use in the make-up of the film certain elements which would 
appeal to this group, however distasteful they might appear to those 
who have had the advantage of a better educational or cultural back- 

142. Fallacy of costs and popularity.— The fallacies of the above 
reasoning are fairly obvious. It starts by assuming that a film must 
necessarily cpst a very high figure, an assumption which it is impossi- 
ble to concede. We have come across far too many cases of expendi- 
, ture on films which cannot be justified by the quality of the results 
achieved. Nor can we say that the industry is so efficiently organised 
as to have reduced wasteful expenditure to the level of other new 
and business-like institutions. Moreover, in an industry in which 
the salaries of leading stars run to fabulous sums, other workers too 
are apt to live in an illusory world, where figures, particularly figures 
of large expenditure, have a glamour and publicity value of their 
own. The spectacular profits earned by certain costly productions 
made in this country and abroad have given a further momentum 
to this extravagance. Today the producer seems to be either shy or 
ashamed of publicly owning that the film which he is going to under- 
take might cost less than what another member of the industry might 
have already spent. We feel that a strong attempt should be made 
by producers to get out of this vicious circle of increasing costs which 
require large audiences, and boosting of budgets in order to attract 
larger numbers of picture-goers. We are examining in a siibsequent 
chapter this question of the cost of production and would^ therefore, 
confine ourselves here to the statement that what we want is not 
more producers who would venture to invest large sums ip produc- 
tion, but many more of the other type who would have the courage 
to make economical pictures. ' Secondly, the assumption that people 
. who have to work with their- hands or who have not had the benefit 
of high-school education are inherently coarse in their tastes is, in 
our opinion an unjustified slander on the bulk of the populadOn. 
^Evidence which has been laid before us shows that the standard 
, lind tastes of this dass of cinema-goers are improving and that while 
during the show* this part of the audience may enjoy the Cheaper 
type of entertainment, they have their own opinions about the ciuali^ 
Of lack of it in the fare that is offetsM. The apped of die finer parts 
of a film is not altogether lost on them and their o^^ 

discrimination are by no means blunt Or . stunied. ; . 


143. Eftevt of audience demands. — ^In the face of this general 
testimony, it is not possible to . argue that the quality of the Wm 
today is what the taste of the audience demands. With the growth 
of public conscience, the spread of literacy, the increase in the 
agencies of cultivation of public taste and the expansion of media 
of public enlightenment, the general and intellectual level of the 
cinema audience is on the upgrade. If, therefore, the producers’ 
claim that they are. giving to the cinema-goer the picture he demands 
were correct, it would be difficult to understand why, compared to 
the films produced before the war, which the industry as well as 
the public recall with pride even today, the standard and character 
of currenv productions should have changed so basically, that the 
public should have expressed their disapproval in unmistakable 
terms through the increasing number of “fiops”. It is no doubt possi- 
ble that, owing to the rise in the cost of production, the production 
of a film intended for a small minority may not be a commercial 
proposition. But we doubt whether the section which really cares 
for stimulating films with a better balance between entertainment 
and education, is so small that it would not pay a producer to attempt 
to cater for its requirements. We are, perhaps, venturing into hypo- 
thetical ground when we say this. We feel, however, that ours is a 
safer conjecture than the opinion of the producers who have been 
obviously at pains to justify many of their failures. We are confident 
that there is a -substantial section of our population which would 
patronise good films and that, if they do not frequent the cinemas 
in large numbers, it is only becavise they have been deterred by their 
experience of the majority of the films turned out today. Nor would 
it, in our view, be correct to regard the contmued patronage of the 
cinema by large audiences as an approval of what is shown. The 
need for relaxation, the absence of an alternative, and the glamour 
of pictures are, in combination too strong for any cinema-goer to 
resist. It would, no doubt, require some effort to woo these audiences 
back to films of a higher standard but this cannot be achieved either 
by the methods of publicity favoured by the industry or by the per- 

, sistently false notions of popularity of certain types of features of 
the films.' We are sure, however, that if films of a better type are 
produced and if the producers and distributors will, in full realisa- 
tioh of their responsibilities to the public, eschew their present 
methods of publicity and give a new turn to the wheel, they can 
bring about a radical alteration in the course of the entire industry. 
Instead of resting on its outmoded oars, the industry will sail, with a 
spirit of adventure and enterprise, on new and clear waters, reflect- 
, ing in the absence of turbidity the image of art and culture and pro- 
’ viding for the eager eyes on shore a settihg at once pleasing to me 
vteion,’ entertaining to the mind, and exhilarating to the sen^s. We 
have no doubt it is in this conscious and planned attempt to wrye 
the better instincts of humanity rather than the base standards of 
taste thdt lies the stability and security of the industry. 

144. Aj^eal to the industry.— -We would, therefore, strongly urge 
upott^^t^ industiy to turn away from the path of least resistance, to 
refrain fmn thinking in stereotyped terms of cheap and unintelli- 

. £<^tl hnii^^ hopes on a superstitious attachment to 

.irej^ns for bpXKjffice suctesses, to realise the gteater public 

; itid^ btyblfed in 


to take a more charitable view of human nature. Reax and sub- 
stantial ^uccess can and will atten^ this healthy attitude of mind. 
Superficial and transient results may flow from a different outlook 
but in that lies neither the good of the public nor the welfare of the 

« short film; Government initiative.— The production of 

“shorts”, by which term is meant documentaries, newsreels, cartoons 
and comic strips of one or two reels about one thousand feet in length 
or ten minutes’ screening time, is a field of activity in which the 
industry has not so far evinced noticeable interest. This is probably 
due to the fact that it is not a profitable business, as is the produc- 
tion of full length feature films. But during World War II, the Gov- 
ernment of India became alive to the potentiality of film “shorts” for 
war propaganda and to stimulate the people’s co-operation with 
various aspects of war effort, including recruitment for the armed 
forces. This interest was further stimulated by the keenness evinced 
by the British Government to make use of the medium of the film 
“for giving the people of India an idea of the armed might of Great 
Britain by exhibiting films about Britain’s naval, military and aerial 
strength”. An advisory body was set up in June 1940 to advise the 
Government of India on the production and distribution of films for 
war propaganda. The Film Advisory Board had its headquarters in 
Bombay, and consisted of representatives of Indian and foreign film 
industry in India, including importers of British and American, films. 

In addition to producing shorts locally, the Board imdertook the 
dubbing with sound tracks in Indian languages, the shorts received 
from the British Ministry of Information and other foreign countries. 

146. Information Films of India.— As the members of the Film 
Advisory Board individually controlled important cinema circuits 
in India, it was thought that they would be able to secure regular 
and prompt circulation of the war films produced by them as well 
as those imported from overseas. In order to help the production 
of shorts in India, a British producer was specially attached to the 
Film Advisory Board. Later, the Government of India au^ented 
the production staff by setting up a film unit for the production of 
documentaries. But it was subsequently felt by the Government 
that the object of war propaganda through the film could not be 
adequately and continuously fulfilled without a full-fledged organisa- 
tion with a full-time staff in place of the part-time honorary workers 
who had so far constituted and guided the Film Advisory Board. 
The Film Advisory Board was accordingly dissolved and the Informa- 
tion Films of India was set up in, February l943.‘'' The IFI produced 
documentaries in five languages, English, Hindustani, Bengali, Tamil 
and Telugu. The selection of themes was made by the Department 
of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with cither depart- 
ments of the Government of India. The Information Films of India 
was abolished in May 1946 in consequence of a cut motion pas^d hy. 

. the Indian Legislative Assembly. In the couree of its. three years’ - 
existence, the IFI had produced 101 shorts, several, of which were 
chosen for exhibition abroad. 

147. PiedpetloB of Newsredts.-^AiongSide ttie produetion of Xhorts 
for war pmpa^anda, the Government of Xndia t^'^wed Inierest 
in the production and distribution of iieivsaitote aiihM at 

: .51 

to Indian cinema audiences the progress of the Allies in different 
theatres of war. An arrangement was made by the Go^Teriiment with 
the Twentieth Century Fox Corporation, as a result of which the 
Corporation undertook to produce edited versions of British Movie- 
tone newsreels in India and distribute them to cinemas. The experi- 
ment did not prove successful as the contents of the newsreels dwelt 
largely on items of no direct interest to Indian audiences. The agree- 
' ment with the company was, therefore, terminated in May 1942, and 
a fresh one was made, under which the Twentieth Century Fox 
Corporation agreed to produce Indian newsreels in original and not 
as dubbed versions of films made in England. The Indian Movietone 
News thus came into being, and newsreels were being produced 
every fortnight in four Indian languages, Hindustani, Bengali, Tamil 
and Telugu. In September 1943, the Government of India took over 
the Indian Movietone News and renamed it the Indian News Parade. 
Newsreels afterwards came to be produced every week, and in 
English also in addition to the four Indian languages. The Indian 
News Parade newsreels covered the activities of Indian troops in 
different war theatres, India’s war effort and other ancillary matters. 
The Indian News Parade shared the same fate as the Information 
Films of India when the Legislative Assembly refused the budget 
grant by carrying a cut motion. But unlike the IFI which completely 
ceased work forthwith, the Indian News Parade was purchased as 
a going concern by a commercial film company in Bombay. This 
private company continued to produce and distribute the newsreels- 
for four months, but when the Defence of India Rule 44 relating to- 
the compulsory exhibition of approved films and payment of rentals 
for them was withdrawn in September 1946, the Indian News Parade 
was closed down as uneconomical. 

148. Cartoon Film Unit. — ^In August, 1944, the Government of India 
had set up a Cartoon Film Unit with a view to carrying on war 
propaganda through a livelier medium than the factual documentary 
or straight newsreel could permit. An expert in the production of 
cartoon films was brought from the United Kingdom, but difficulty 
was said to have bjeen experienced in getting the required equipment 
like key animators and celluloid stocks from abroad. The Cartoon 
Film Unit was able to produce only one cartoon strip by May 1946,. 
when it was dissolved. 

, 149. Establishment of Films Division.— The production of news- 
reels and shorts by the Indian News Parade and the Information Films 
of India ceased as a result of the Indian Legislative Assembly carrying 
a cut motion in the budgetary grant in 1946. The Government of 
India under the new dispensation were however appreciative of the 
utihty of these media for official publicity and for educational and 
cultural propaganda. The Films Division as a branch of the Ministry 
of Information and Broadcasting was set up early in 1948. with head- 
quarters in Bombay, and the production, distribution and exhibition 
of short films came to be revived, after an interruption of over two- 
years,: Ifi^le the Information Films of India and the Indian News 
.Parade had i\m<-tiphed^ a^ separate and independent -units, 

.tbOiFilms Division coihprises-both units, the documentaries produced 
timm, hteing;caU Films of India imd the hews- 

naffied News;Jieview, The odium attached to the pre- 
” ^news; 4s nmy he to have been erased as a 


result of the formation of a National Government and the attainment 
of freedom by India. The organisational pattern and the personnel 
have also been altered to suit the new conditions. 

160. The Indian News Review produces one newsreel of about 
1,000 ft. every week. The material is shot by newsreel cameramen 
of the Films Division stationed in various States capitals. The film ^ 

is sent to Bombay, which is the headquarters of the Films Division, 
where it is edited, processed and released with suitable commentary 
and background music. The newsreels are produced in five 
languages, English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu. - 

151. In addition to topics of purely Indian origin, newsreels occa« 
sionally contain items from abroad of special interest for Indian 
audiences. The Prime Minister’s American tour last year, as well 
as his visit to Indonesia, were thus covered. It is learnt that arrange- 
ments are soon to be made for inclusion in the weekly newsreels of 
a certain proportion of foreign news. 

152. In addition to the weekly newsreels, the Films Division also 
issue a monthly edition of the type of news-magazine. This Overseas 
Edition of the news review is sent out to Indian embassies and consu- 
lates abroad for non-commercial exhibition. 

153. The documentary section is concerned with the production 

of short films of instructional, cultural and educational value. The 
Section is equipped with a production capacity of 36 documentaries 
a year.' The distribution arrangements of the Films Division call 
for the release of one new documentary a week along with one news- 
reel. Normally half the theatres in the country should bt* showing 
newsreels while the other half screen documentaries. In order to 
encourage private producers, the Government of India planned to 
buy some documentaries from them to make up the total of 52 
required each year. In practice, neither production nor purchase 
have been able to meet the schedule, and on weeks when o docu- * 
mentary is not available, only newsreels are released. The industry . ' 

has not shown much interest in the production of such documentaries. , 

A few producers mainly from Bombay interested in the object of 
production of documentaries and one-or-two-reel shorts of cultural 

and educational value have recently formed themselves into a “Short 
Film Guild”. Its work is still to make itself evident. 

154. Exhibitors do not seem generally interested to show sikirt i 

films, and, therefore, the internal market for them is undeveloped. 

Under Govemnaent’s directive that every theatre should exhibit at 

iv each show at least 1,000 feet of “approved” films, a dem^d for short 
films has been created perforce. With Government tiae!i^lves 
producing and releasing documentaries and newsreels every week 
^’^end charging rentals for their exhibition, private firodUcers feel that 
the scope left for exploitation by them in the present conditions is ' 
discouraging. At the same time we nbticed' a general reluctance bn 
the part of many producers to take , to the production of doCu- 
mentaries. We can well understand their reluctance ahd h^itation. 

There is no money but Only public service in it Nevertheless, the: 

Films Division has recently raised the rates at it 

Willing to pur<d}ase a certain number el ^Ort '^ 


producers. It is not known how many producers have offered their 
films for sale and how many have been purchased and at what price. 
For the present; the supply of short films is virtually confined to 
those produced by Government agencies. 

155. The Newsreel and the Documentary sections have a whole 

time staff of editors, commentators, script writers, directors and 
recordists. Like the newsreels, the documentaries are also issued in 
five languages — ^English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu. While 
the editing, recording and re-recording work is done in the Films 
Division itself, the printing and processing work is at present being 
done at outside laboratories in Bombay. • 

156. All the newsreels as well as documentaries whether produced 
by the Films Division or taken over from private producers are pre- 
viewed by the Film Advisory Board appointed by the Government 
of India in 1949. After a newsreel or documented has been passed 
by this Board, they are seen and certified in the' usual course by the 
Board of f^lm Censors at Bombay. 

157. The Films Division has its own distribution branch for 
supplying newsreels and documentaries to cinema houses in the 
country. Five branch offices of distribution are located at Bombay, 
Calcutta, Madras, Lucknow and Nagpur. Sixty-eight copies each of 
every documentary and newsreel are simultaneously released in all 
the first run cinemas in important cities. In spite of this total number 
of 136 copies released, the number of theatres, which is nearly 25 
times this figure, results in the documentaries and newsreels remain- 
ing a long time in. circulation. The time taken in transit has to be 
added to the inevitable screening period of 25 weeks, and the result 
is that it takes up to 8 months before the copies are withdrawn, Docu- 
mentaries cease to be topical and newsreels are ridiculously out of 

158. When the Films Division came into regular operation, exhibi- 
tion of their newsreels and documentaries was made compulsory. 
State Governments were requested by the Government of todia to 
insert a clause in the cinema licence making it obligatory on the 
part of the exhibitors to show before each performance not less than 
one thousand ft. of “approved” films, “approved” films being defined 
as films approved for the purpose by the Central or State Govern- 
ments. All State Governments except Vindhya Pradesh and Manipur 
.have inserted the required clause in the cinema licences. The 
Bombay Government, in order to facilitate the exhibition of short 
films produced by themselves, have specified that “approved” film* 
of approximately 2,000 ft in length should be exhibited. Most of 
the exhibitors who tendered evidence before us have objected to the 
xx>mpul8ion in this regard. Their evidence on tibe popularity or la<^ 
of it of tiiese films, was mixed but was on tibe whole rather critical. 
It seemis not imlikely that the compulsion itself was partly responsi- 
ble fbr the unfavourable attitude towards the contents of the film. 
We have con8i(h»red, In chapter m, the It^el poettion regarding com- 
pulsory exMbition. We are conceimedh with ^ degree to 

whh&; ^ puipoee wfal^ has led to thdr pro- 

resistance 10 0^ huts 

ji^ -thai' ^ meo rather 


travelogues and which aimed to instruct were sometimes pom^us 
in their approach and at other times too timid to force the obvioris 
conclusion. Since these appear to us to be faults which any Govern- 
ment “propaganda” should guard against, we record the views with- 
out necessarily sharing them. Our own impression formed partly 
out of our own observation but largely from the evidence of dis- 
interested witnesses is that the documentaries are by no means so 
unpopular as the trade and industry make it out to be, that the really 
meritorious productions among them win recognition, and that while 
the exhibitors naturally resent compulsion and the payment of 
rentals and the industry is bitter about the inrodd on their earnings 
which they feel this rental makes, the average cinema-goer is not 
•quite averse from seeing them. We have no doubt that the exhibi- 
tion of newsreels and documentaries serves on the whole a useful 
purpose though the standard and quality still require considerable 

159. Out of the 70 documentaries produced so far, some are in 
the nature of fresh copies of old documentary films produced by the 
war-time Information Films of India. One or two like Village 
■Panchayats were bought from private sources and improved uj^n. 
Some were selected from UNESCO and American official agencies. 
But the majority of films are directly planned and produced by the 
Films Division. The selection of themes is in effect based on the 
recommendations and requirements of the various Ministries of the 
•Government of India. These films, therefore, obviously help the 
public see on the screen the various activities and policies of the 
•Government, and seem designed from the point of view of educating 
the citizen rather than the man. Few of these are therefore directly 
beneficial to the classroom as they are not conceived from a special 
•educational angle, but many of them seem to have been well received 
by educationists and are in demand by the educational authoiities, 
as an instrument of general instruction. 

160. Several States, for instance, Bombay, Madras, West Bengal 
and Madhjya Pradesh, maintain film libraries stocked with films for 
adult audiences. The sources of supply are again mostly foreign. 
Special Committees of experts scrutinise films offered for sale and 
those found suitable are bought by the Governments. Vans fitted 

with projectors tour the countryside and screen the films State 

•officials have testified to the popularity of these films. But as visual 
education through films is being carried out by the various Govem- 
tnents as part of the programme to publicise official activities ahd 
policies, schools and educational institutions are not directly bene- 
fited. Cuts imposed on grants for education and publicity as part of 
^governments’ economy wive are said to hamper continuance of Ibe 
acti'vity even on the present meagre scale. The main avenue of 
publicity is only through commercial theatres. 

161. Besides the stipulation that all ^ exhibitors shall ' 
•“ipproved” fihns at each show, a rejital is charged by 

Division from the exhibitors in-retuin for the seiwices reh<kied. by 
Way of supply of “approved” fihns. The rental is 
apfuroximiedely 1 per cent, of the £ross colleotikon of the eiQemas;4uid. i< 
Granges between 5 and Rs, .ijSO a.Wef^, . .1%e 

dexivedr by. the FUms Divisloft , by way 


is about 20 lakhs of rupees whereas the annual budgeted expenditure 
is about 34 lakhs of. rupees. There has been widespread protest 
against such rentals being charged, particularly when exhibition has 
been made compulsory. The effect, they say, is equivalent to forced 
levy to support a Government department. The exhibitors argue 
that the Government derives publicity and advertisement value by 
the screening of the newsreels and the documentaries and should, 
therefore, pay for them in the same manner as they pay for advertise- 
ments in newspapers. They add that if, however, the exhibitors are 
prepared to meet Government half the way by agreeing to screen 
these “shorts”, there is no justification for charging rentals also. 

162. By an agreement between distributors and exhibitors, the 
rentals paid for “approved” films are deducted from the gross collec- 
tions in the same manner as entertainment tax, that is to say, both 
treat it as a sort of tax on the industry. We are discussing the equity 
and justice of this charge later. 

163. Use of films in education.— We have already referred to the 
formative aspect of films having regard to the mental and psycho- 
logical reactions of the audience. We realise that films of a special 
type have therefore a specific role to play in the field of education, 
and we have been impressed by the appreciation shown by educa- 
tionists of the possibility of using the film as a medium of instruc- 
tion in the class room. They have stressed the various directions in 
which the film cannot merely supplement the work of the teacher 
but achieve results which no amount of oral teaching can bring about, 
particularly in the presentation of a subject beyond the normal visual 
reach ofthe pupil, whether it is history and the incidents connected 
with periods gone beyond recall, the geography of remote countries, 
or biological processes that cannot be seen directly. 

164 This medium of education lends itself to very effective use 
in amplifying instruction in different technical and scientific pro- 
cesses, in bringing closer to the pupil strange lands and stranger 
people, in imparting knowledge about their own country in explain- 
ine many problems of natural science and incidents of natural 
phenomenon, and in creating an interest for objects and thinp out- 
side the range of normal daily experience of an ordinary studwt. 

In short, films cannot only be an effective me^s of eduction but 
thev can also become an agent for widening the student s hompn, 
of rousing his latent healthy curiosities, of expanding his knowledge 
and of mating him a useful member of his own country and a citizen 
of the world. Li a world where distances are shrinkiM fast and 
even every day problems far transcend national boundaries, the 
vaue ahd txeed of such an agency caimot be over-emphasmd., . By 
an adroit mixture of entertainment and education and a skiMul and 
competeat handling of the subject in a maimer adapted to the’ level 
of intelligence and degree of education of the ai^enre, an edu- 
cational fflm can shve Iwurs of lectures and study. This timersavmg 
factor 4 s ki itself sufficient, jiistihcation , for an extended applicatum 
of tojwful medium, tt to this we add the heater degree (rf suc^ 
tihat ! to att^d ^ iJ®e; of this 

handle Pfitbesdhject^t^ ; 


165. Yet, we were disappointed to find that there has been 
no large>scale use of this medium; even where it has been employed 
on any scale worth consideration, for example, in Bombay and 
Madras, it has only barely touched the fringe of the problem. The 
teachers are anxious to teach through this medium and the studente 
are eager to learn but lack of proper degree of attention to this 
medium on the part of competent authorities, and difficulties, 
primarily of a financial charactei;, are seriously retarding progress. 
We might as well say with the poet: “The hungry sheep look up and 
are not fed”. 

166. Nothing would give a clearer idea of the inadequacy of exist- 
ing efforts to exploit this medium than a review of what is being 

167. The Ministry of Education at the Centre maintains a film 
library and loans educational films free of charge to such educational 
institutions who are members of it. The Library consists mostly of 
foreign educational films and copies of Films Division documentaries. 
In March, 1950, the Library had a membership of 210 and about 400 
films were being circulated every month. The Ministry also main- 
tains an audio-vi^itl imit, through which films are directly shown 
to Delhi and the surrounding areas. With a view to assisting private 
producers of educational films, the Ministry recently drew up and 

- circulated a list of subjects with brief synopsis for each. The pro- 
duction of educational films is a field of activity which has not so 
far interested producers of feature films in India. Apparently, they 
do not see in this enterprise much scope for attractive profits. Certain 
States Governments have made a sincere effort to collect together 
libraries of educational films mainly from foreign sources but taking 
full advantage of the films already made in India. Commercial 
undertakings have also imported a number of films for hiring out to ' 
schools and a few films have been made in this country purely as a 
result of private effort. The very limited official and private sources 
of supply of educational films in the country are being supplemented 
from the film libraries of the United States Information Services and 
the British Information Services, and occasionally also of the Soviet 
Embassy. These films are usually available in English only, but 
these agencies are lately known to be making efforts to make these 
shutts available with commentaries dubbed in several Indian langu- 
ages particularly Hindi. Some educationists have told us that many of 
these films do not prove attraclive to the students as the latter find 
the atihosphere perceptibly different from their native conditions. 
Nevertheless, these foreign films are being utilised because the Indian 
sources of supply are grossly inadequate. There can, ffxerefore, be 
no doubt that an important means of education and instruction is 
securing insuj^ent attention from public authorities and even virhat- 
ever littie is beh^ done often lacks the Indian’ tbudi. 

168 . Apisrt from this paucity of educatitmal filnas, the (tiffleuity 

- that has stood in the of putting the filntt to gzintee rt^ 
clSsnnoom is ^dmSrily nnannal. A projecting, particsffarly a sound 
iscojeetor,^ ^ expensive and the filns titeihsdv^ a^e cos^ 
regard to the resources Of most of the educatie^ histitatimui- >^e< 
ImbAi tsaarever; ^t wfa«e the State 


tte levy of a ^arge from the pupils for buying a projector or ren^ng 
it aloi^ with the films, it has been possible for schools to make con^ 
siderable use of the film. It is no doubt true that schooling ha4 
already become very expensive and that any additional burden oil 
the parent should be avoided particularly in the present condition^ 
of rising cost of living and diminishing real incomes. We feel, how* 
ever, that in view of the numerous demands made upon the com* 
paratively small budget available for the spread of education in each 
State, it .would not be possible for substantial help to be forthconiing 
from the State Governments for the purchase of projectors. More* 
over, some educationists have pointed oyt that if a school has td 
make the fullest use of the film for a large number of pupils, it W 
necessary to have a projector of its own, necessitating heavy initial 

y 169. Lack of electricity in rural areas.— It has also been pointed 
’out to us that the majority of schools in this country are situated id 
rural areas where no electric supply is available. It is, therefore, 
necessary first to have plants for the generation of electricity before 
a projector can be operated. Such equipment for the generation of 
electricity is not merely expensive but more difiicult to maintain 14 
condition than the projector itself. 

170. Abolition of import duty. — ^The high cost of the projectorft 
which we have referred to is partly due to the import duty that id 
levied on all equipment brought in from abroad. Some educationist)! 
have felt that, if this import duty is reduced, it might make it easiev 
for more schools to go in for projectors. Their argument was thaf 
the import duty which is a substantial proportion of the cost, result! 
in more than a proportionate increase in the price paid by the school. 
This arises, in the following manner: If a projector costs Rs. 1,009 
and is imported from abroad, the duty on it at 40 per cent, would bd 
Rs. 400. The total cost to the importer would, therefore, be Rs. 1,400^ 
If. however, he wishes to make a profit of 25 per cent, on his invest* 
ment, his selling price would be Rs. 1,750. If, on the other hand, 
he paid no duty and was content with the same proportion of profil 
the selling price would be Rs. 1^50. The result of a duty of Rs. 4QQ 
IS to increase the price by Rs. 500. We cannot really object to thd 
Importer charging a profit even on the duty because that is also paff 
of his investment in trade. If by any means the duty could bg 
waived, there would be more than a corresponding reduction in tbg 
price of projectors. We are examining this suggestion in the chapu^ 
containing our recommendations. 

Another great handicap in the wider use of this medium h ^ - ' 
(dearth of suitable films with commentaries in simple Ei^|sh and 
^diah: languages. Witnesses have complained to us of the extreme^ 
^tricted field of >choice, of the shortage of numbehs available and 
oott^uei^ diMculties in eirculation. of the absence of suitable enla* 
rnatory Ub^ipre, the veiy of subjects and of lade of 

auificien%Vti^h#, therefoie, films itfe to be put 1 ^ 

vlfa^ maximum use and n^ potentialities in this fidd are to be fitllp, 
a Jpmat (h»al to be done to circumvent the 

jiaifScnltiias. imd handicapa whidt;. we have pointed out md inake 
ihe ;gnint lleeway that in this directitiM 

at. which' t h i n gs ' 

1*^. ProdncMon of educational films with bdian bae^Tonttd.-«r 

Several educationists have pointed out that, while some of the 
imported films have proved outstanding successes because of the way 
in which the subject has been treated, very poor results were 
achieved in certain other cases. The difference, according to these 
educationists, appears to be due to the fact that the background of 
certain films, particularly those which refer to social life and 
l>ehaviour, were so alien to the pupils that there was difficulty in 
toeir comprehending the lessons taught of in applying them to theif 
local enviroiunent and conditions. While a student would find it 
easy to follow the theory of the physical principles which govern 
rainfall and climate, as depicted in an American film, he could not^ 
With equal facility, correlate with his own background a similar film 
on agriculture depicting mechanised farming, or another on school 
habits where the buildings, furniture and the pupils themselves were 
so totally different from what he is accustomed to see. While for « 
munber of scientific subjects it would be possible to draw upon the 
resources of other countries where a large number of films have 
been made already, it is necessary to undertake within the countiy 
.the production of those films which are related to the daily life of 
the people ^md their environments. This task is not one wmch can 
be undertaken by the State Governments, because a film of even ten 
minutes’ duration would cost from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000, and this 
expenditure cannot be justified where the entire needs of the State 
WPUld be for 20 or 30 copies. 

172. Silent films.— We have taken some pains to enquire whether 
silent films or sound films have proved more successful in teaching. 
The concensus of opinion has been that sound films are more usefiu, , 
end that even when the films are being shown to children who cannot 
follow the commentary on the sound track at the speed at which it 
b delivered or in the language used and it becomes necessary for 
the teacher to shut off the commentary and explain the film as it 
proceeds in a manner which suits the children, a commentary is 
essential for the teacher himself to grasp the basic ideas to be pre- 
sented and the particular methods’ of exposition which have been 
found by experience to be most suitable and which are consequently 
Embodied in the commentary.- Nevertheless the film should oner thp 
possibility of being shown without its accompanying sound, or with 
only a commentary from the teacher. For this purpose it must be 
conceived and produced as a silent film with accpmpan 3 ^g coni- 

g entary and notas a sound film with dialogue, for in the latter 
le film merely appears ludicrous with the sound shut off. The 
teadher should have firee scom for adapting Ms own commentary tb 
Vi heeds of 14 ? class and to maintidn the intimate 
ladafiohs^ip between the teadier and the taiqj^ The dxiOte lit 
Oie film ivith its own accompanying commehtafy or tidiii- 
biil It ^uld be avidlable to the teacher. H<ere it mi^t bi as 
|o ehiphasise that not every teacher can dieUver e s^tKiae 
Jnentary for an educatioiml film, nor can the t^ct^ef tbs doahhait^ 

|| a fihn be stereotyped. A good'fflhi;oasi fail in its puifeie tf It 
^lias hot a. commentator to expound •ito-'oehligaito' to 
.^jittraettve voice Or mahher or ff toe to^ ^ eommail^ fe 
'';ttoited;'ch'' adapted- to the 'atoiitoiito 

173. A point which was noticed in the course of our inve'stfgatioji 
Is the lack of other facilities in the school necessary for the use of a 
him. Except in the case of subjects of a very general nature whera 
large groups of pupils can watch a film together, it should be thfl 
normal practice to show a film in the regular class-room' itselfi 
It is necessary for this purpose that provision should be made tot 
darkening the room to the extent necessary for pupils to view the 
picture without strain. If this cannot be provided in every dasa 
room, one or two class-rooms at least should be set apart for this 
purpose where pupils could be taken for viewing films. There woul<L 
however, be a number of subjects, e.g., about personal hygiene, roao 
sense, etc., which large groups of pupils can see at the same time 
A few schools appear to have fairly large auditoriums where ths 
pupils can be assembled for such a purpose, but, on the other hand, 
there appear to be many schools which do not have even a suitable 

174. Need for film libraiies.->-In order to cover the requirements 
■of pupils of varying ages and of instruction in a wide variety m 
Subjects, each school in this country should be able to draw upon • 
library of perhaps several hundred filtns, but the cost of such a 
library would at present be beyond the means of the average sqh^ 
In this country. On the other hand, each film would be needed w 
only a few days in the year and would lie in storage unused for the 
rest of the period. - 

175. instruction In the nse of films, etc.— The courses of study fdr 
diplomas or degrees in education should be expanded to cover in- 
struction in the use of modern methods such as teaching through th'e 
.^m and the radio. We found that this has already been done in 
one State. This State has provided a special incentive to teachei!s 
'who have qualified in the use of the film and radio in education, bV 
irecognising this as equivalent to craft training. We would like suen 
measures adopted in other States also. Refresher courses must also 
be provided for those already engaged in the teaching profession. 

176. The most outstanding success of the film in the educationsd 
■field has been in the direction of imparting vocational instruction 
regarding the use of tools and the teaching of industrial processes. 
.We did not come across any instances of vocational training eitiier in 
.institutions or in industrial establishments where the ^m was being 
vput to use for this purpose. We feel that there is considerable scope 
. for the use-of the film particularly in training technicians. Moreqy^, 
^ organisation of cottage industries as a substantial factor in the 
:«con(Hnie development of the country could be greatly assisted by 
;|he riiowing in rural areas of films on the conversion of raw materials 
Into maricetable goods. 

177. in^ifiiologidd effe^ of films: for ieseucl^Xn our dis- 

fjeuesicaiis '^th education^^ that they shared our concern 

;,ovet ^e lack of infottnatjon regarding the effect the usual featt^ 
,:filma bn the ' children .Wlm me them. Owing to the family life and 
of: Indians ^^i^ cannot imagine a state of affairs 

: ydii^ithe parents genarhily be ready to go to pictures leaving 
! j^ir feel, therefore, that there is any 

' mmd fm fhOll^pe oX pi^entiife 


Bharat Government, when they sought to prevent the admission of 
ehil^on into cinemas except in the rare cases where the films wer# 
'Considered to be of an educational or a religious nature. We feel that 
parents can be trusted to take care of this aspect of childrensi' live$ 
Detter than the State and the reformist zeal of the ministries might 
•t least leave out the normal relationship between parents and 
^ildren. We, therefore, consider that any plan for the future of tha , 
film industry must take account of the fact that these would be seen 
‘ In an overwhelming majority of cases by adults along with othet 
members of their families. It is necessary, therefore, not merely 
to exercise the greatest care in the selection of the material for 
making pictures but also in their scrutiny when the films are being 
Certified. Organised scientific study of the psychological effects cd 
the film on the children is also needed urgently. In this connection 
we would refer to the “Wiggle Test” in the U.S.A., carried out under 
the auspices of the Motion Picture Association. The reactions ol 
children are watched as they see the films. This test is a convincing 
means of recording the unconscious behaviour and reactions: ol 
^ildrcn to particular situations in a film. A study of these reaction^ 
forms the basis of the selection of films for the children’s film library, 
'Similar studies oh the effect of the cinema at the adolescent stage 
have been conducted by a group of research workers at Birmingharn 
Vniversity in the United Kingdom. The investigation included in* 
fbrmal discussion, recording of spontaneous opinions, the completion 
of two questionnaires well separated in point of time and in the east) 
of one-fifth of the children under study, an anonymous essay on the 
’“Best film I ever saw and why I liked it”. Students were taken 
to certain cinemas and an investigator on the spot closely watched 
the physical and mental reactions. Statistics were also collected on 
the kind of films shown in the urban and rural areas, and of the 
children’s preferences of various types of films. We have found 
appreciation from educationists on the need for conducting sudi ' 
tests in this country, and we would strongly iirge that teachers 
especially in city schools and colleges in India should organize and 
assist in such research, which would go a long way in the selection 
^ films and film themes most suitable and best appreciated by ths 
children and adolescent groups and in the scrutiny of pictures of a 
general type which wotild be seen by mixed audiences. 

178. Prodnetlmi of films specially for children.— Many of the wil)> 
nesses who appeared before us have stressed the importance of 
making special provision for the needs ol the children. Their view 
^ been that entertainment for children should be planned with full 
understanding of their special psydiological needs and of theit 
natural preferences. Children to^y frequent cinema houses in large 
numbers and even if the films they see are not harmful to them, it is 
very unlikely that children can derive from these the same degrei 

entertaftiaent which specially plaimed fllms can provide. , Wt 
•giee that the production of films Spu^Slly suited to children IS jp| - 
Insportant a port of our cultural activides as the productioa Of.b(mis 
^ meet their specific needs. Film production is, hoWevI^, i Sau<ft 
mote eiqpettsive undertaking than ^ publicatloh Of Ix^ks, add tInSs 
tddldren do not form a suffid^tiy large group to nSaim 
. flmnmercially successfid. producers am naturld^ 

Jds field, l^roducers in India aiid more lo 


:'Iarge majority of the people and have not .so far attempted prodii^ 
fion of films for any particular group in the community or for any 
.particular section of the population. The only countries where the 
production of films, specially planned for children, has been undei^ 
taken on a scale worth mentioning, are the U.S.S.R. and the U.K. 
In Russia, all film production is State-controlled and the question 
e Of profit or loss on any particular venture does not apparently arise. 

Apart from this the film industry in the U.S.S.R. like other similar 
imderUkings has an inevitable purpose underlying it. It is not 
therefore, surprising that the U.S.S.R. leads in the matter of catering 
to the needs of children and that they have a special category o1 
films particularly recommended to be seen by children. In the U.K« 
.One of the biggest producers made an attempt to produce film* 
specially for children. His Idea was to build up a library of about 200 
.short feature films which would appeal to children and show these 
tn turn at various cinemas all over the country. Special shows an 
arranged in the cinemas controlled by this producer on every Satui^ 
day, to which children are admitted on payment of a nominal charge. 
^Adults aro. however, also present, at the show in order to maintais 
order and to see that the children do not come to any harm. The 
production of these films has been in charge of a lady specially quali- 
fied for the job and the success achieved so far must be attribute 
'Ss much to the individual ability of this person as to the sense qf 
* 'social responsibility of the firm of producers. . ; 

- .0 

179. In this connection, we would also like to refer to the steps 
taken by the United States producers to turn out films suitable for 
children out of the material that constitutes their main output. 
There are bodies of educationists who see the standard feature filnts 
and suggest adaptations of much shorter lengths which would be suiji^ 
able for exhibition to children. The object is to present the stora 
In a form easily understandable and also to eliminate those detail 
which have an appeal only to the adult mind. These adaptations 
have proved very popular among child audiences and in fact have 
Served a purpose similar to the adaptatiohs from the classics in the 
literary field. The major producers extend their co-operation by 
letting specialist producers use sections of films showing the scenic 
features various coimtries or habits of life and other activities 
for the production of special class-room films. With the co-operatioo 
M educationists, the Motion Picture Society in the U.S. is serving • 
useful purpose in the preparation of instructional films made up of 
^ .. "extracts” from full length feature films. For example, five nlms 
of World History and three of American, history have been exhibited 
at the request of the National Council for Social Studies. In a list 
of 23 films from literature, suitable for school children, are included 
f ' excerpts from feature-film versions of David Copperfield and Trefr 
jure frhuid. 

' 18Q. We rea^e that in India there is no producer with resource* 

tar]^ enough to undertake the production of such films, nor is there 
inyr ImtvtAJrk of dhe^ unified control which can undertake 

fhti l^ddtdtion of sudi films at ^ieCial shows exclusively intended f<^ 
|hildljn.>;Wd:^ Division of the Goverre 

' nieht iheht^Vi^ nm^take the production .of su<^ 

jBhusyifor' drudren a supply 'df jUcS 

films is available, they should be shown at least for one show a weeic 
In various parts of a city. The admission charges for these shows 
should be nxed iust to cover the actual expenses of operation an^l 
no entertainment tax should be charged. Every incentive must ba 

f rovided tor large attendance of children at these shows. We are 
rclined to agree with the opinion expressed by some witnesses that 
unless there is provision for special films for children it is impossibla 
to shut them oil from seeing pictures indiscriminately. 

181. Narrative form better appreciated.— As in the case of edt^ 
cational films, we would suggest that films made for children should 
also be in the narrative form wherever possible so that versions 
':Could be made for the benefit of children speaking various language^ 
It may be mentioned here that the experiments of British produced 
-in this direction have shown that children up to the age of 12 or l4 
.like the narrative form where the entire story is told by a voiba 
butside the participants. 

182. Children in cinemas.— Many witnesses have pointed out th^l 
foe seating arrangements in most of the cinemas are not quite suited 
for children. It is difficult for them to have a full and clear view 
t>f the screen and they are continuously obliged to strain their necks 
■in order not to miss anything. We, must therefore, draw the atten- 
tion of theatre-owners to the advisability of providing a row of seats 
in each class where children can sit comfortably and see the screep 
without strain. 

183. Effect of fllm s on children.— The case for catering special^ 
for children leads us to a consideration of the effect of an ordinary 
feature film on them. We agree with the view of those educationists 
who have spoken from their experience that in the majority of cases, 
children do not absorb any deep impression from the films whidh 
•treat life in a manner beyond their comprehension. Children gene- 
tally lose interest in a show when the story goes beyond their under- 
Itanding, and we do not think that, generally speaking, there is any 
deep deleterious effect on children. What probably ^^ects foem 
Most in Indian filit^ are the music and dancing. We are afraid that 
bn the whole the infiuence of music and dancing of 'the avera^ 
Indian film on children’s tastes is not healthy or of good quality* 
Children learn by imitatiop, and the gestures and language of lo^ 
IcenM, dare-devilry, roguery and crime leave impressions which takp 
and more powerful and intimate influeiices to eradicate, 

184. We would, therefore, suggest that the reactions a film might 
have on children should always be borne in mind by certifvina 
Boards when they consider the issue of a “U” certificate for any 
film. The decfoing point should be whether any positive hanh would 
be ca^ed to children who may happen to see that picture. Vulgarity 
Or indecei^ should not be the oSy factors for conrideratfoa im 

or indecenjy should not the o5fy f^tofo fo^ SderatfoT^I 
fofo regard, we woiffd say foat if certain scenes border ott 'foe 
todecent or if foe dialogue tends to vulgarity, it is umfesfoabie foat foa 
Jtai ^uW given any certificafe until these porfoms arO 

Boards should not take the ea^ way of granttnar 
fo uich cases and thereby associating hi t^ «miad(^ foe tiuhUe foe 
foat ■ *A” cerrifoiateis 'lOfo graht^ . 



185. From the point of view of production, India occupies a hig IK 
place among the nations of the world. The number of films produced 
:is the second largest in the world next only to the figures of produc- 
tion in the U.S.A. Quantitatively speaking, the progress registered 
is remarkable and the growth has been rapid since the state of .the 
industry was reviewed by the Rangachari Committee in 1928. The 
advent of the talkie in 1931 gave a great fillip to the production of 
films in Indian languages. Thus, during the decade following the 
production of the first Indian talkie film “Alam Ara” in 1931, fihnp 
produced in different Indian languages have shown a very largjji 

186. The following figures provide at a glance an idea of the 
progress of Indian fiJim production since 1931. 

r«ar , 

Nwaber uf fUm$ 
passed by Censors 






































Ii87, V^ile the war helped step up prodncti(m activity, the raw 
Cte fo ne ffikn>iniiking, and mechanical CHjuipinent <4 

t^itud^, were, in short rapp^, n<^ producing ccmc^ns 6pr|aii|[ ' 
ililp ror raw stock. 


Inevitably gave rise to complaints of black-marketing and proflteeiv 
Ing. The Government of India stepped in to eliminate the evil by 
regularising production activity. Producers had to be licensed before 
they were eligible to draw raw film supplies. During the two years 
pf 1944 and 1945, when the system of controls was in operation, there 
Vvas a shrinkage of production activity. Thus, while the total num- 
ber of films produced in 1943 was 159, it dropped to 126 in 1944, the 
first full year under government licensing. In the following year, 
-Ihere was a further fall, the number of pictures produced being only 
99. With the easing of the raw film supply position by the end of 
fhe war and the consequent abolition of controls, normal production 
activity was resumed and the number of pictures produced more 
ftum doubled in 1946. In 1947, a total of 283 films were produced. . 

188. The activity of film production is virtually distributed 
between Bombay, Bengal and Madras. These three regional central 
again roughly correspond to the three main groups of languages ip 
prhich the films are produced. Thus, Bombay concentrates on thp 
production of films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarathi, while Madras 
produces films in the regional languages of Tamil, Telugu. Kannada 
and Malayalam. Bengal’s production of films is chiefly in Bengali 
and to lesser extent in Hindi. Figures, of the production of films op 
a language basis are given in Appendix XIII. 

189. There are a few cases of independent film producers, not 
having their own studios moving out df their regional areas for 
Shooting their film in another place. ' Thus, a producer of a Tamil or 
Telugu film may be found to have ‘shot’ it in a studio in Bombay 
pr Calcutta. But with the establishment of more studios in thp 
Bouth, such casual diversion of production activity is now rare. 

190. Unlike Hollywood where the production of films has come 
|o be concentrated in the hands of a few concerns, India is dis- 
tinguished By a plethora of producers. The extent of this fragmenta- 
tion of activity would be clear from the fact that in 1939, 94 producers 
between them produced 167 films, the average output per producer 
being less than two films for the whole year. The highest number 
Of fluns produced by any single producer that year was nine. In 
1940, 102 producers produced 171 films, bringing the average still 
lower. The highest number of films produced by any single producer 
that year was seven. In 1946, the year when film production spurted 
following the removal of government controls on the supply of raw 
film. 200 films were produced by 151 producers. In 1947. there were 
914 producers who between them produced 283 films, and the highest 
toumber of films produced by any single producer in this year was 
Seven. In 1948, the number of producers was 211 and the films 
btoduced by them totalled 264, the highest number of films produced 
by any single producer being only six. 

191. Aiibther si^ificant feature of film production in India is the 
Very large number of “newcomer ihdependents” that is. timse who 
have no studios of their own or any previous connection with the 
turn industry, but enter the business for variedv and bfteh, mixeid^ 
Veasmw Wid motlvra. They have not shown any staying 

bcMiie in .at randoni, and consider thanselyes lu(^ ;if :wey . ait!r^^^3^^ 
|o complete even one picture in ty^ear. ^ause iMi the sudden ar^ 

.unregulated nature of their adventure, they run a great risk of 
failure. “Infant mortality” among these independent producers 
consequently large. Out of 94 producers whose films were censored 
]n 1939, 51 dropped out of business in 1940. Out of 102 producers in- 
^1940, tiiere were 50 newcomers, and only 43 producers who had conti* 
nued from the previous year. In 1946, there were 151 producers, of 
whom 94 dropped out in the succeeding year. In 1947, out of 214< 

f roducers, the number of newcomers wiks 156, nearly 70 per cent 
'his unprecedented rush of newcomers came in the wake of the 
lifting of government controls and abolition of the licensing systenk 
The possibility of cashing in quickly on the wartime demand for 
films of any sort evidently proved an irresistible, temptation. But 
6nly 54 producers among the 214 for the year survived in 1948, where* 
.ns the number of newcomers in that year touched a new height of 
157. Only 25 producers continued in the indust^ through all the 
^three years from 1946 to 1948. A statement showing the number of 
producers and the films produced by them each year from 1940 to 
■1949 is given in Appendix XIV. 

192. With some 250 films produced on an average during the post- 
war years, the general impression of the condition of the industry 
^ likely to be one of prosperity and hopeful expansion in the future. 
-But the producers themselves are increasingly aware of the unsatu^ 
.factory state of affairs, and the deceptive character of the progress- 
recorded numerically. It is generally agreed that, compared to the 
exhibition facilities available today, the number of films produced 
Is disproportionately large. While, therefore, the growth of film 
production has been used by producers to reinforce their plea foj 
unrestricted expansion of theatre building activity, there is also a 
perceptible desire for rationalising production and regulating the 
activities of “independents” who today enter the industry without 
any check of their fitness for survival in this highly competitive field. 
The free entry of stray elements is generally held responsible foit 
many of the ills of the industry such as competitive bidding for starst 
the sacrifice of quality in the hurry to complete a picture at any 
cost, payment of usurious rates of interest, mortgage of a film before 
|t is completed, and also the many "still-boms" among the production 
.ventures that do not go beyond the stage of the first thousand feet 
9r so of diooting. 

193. But the independents can turn back and ask established 
producers if it is not really a case of the pot calling the kettle black 
and whether even the established producers owning studios are not 
tarred by the same brush. In this wrangle for apportionment of 
hlame, me public and the critic of the film may not perceive any 
Vldkr-cut distinction as between the established and independent 
'producers in the matter of the results achieved by them and the- 
'post and consequences of their effort. They are inclined to blame 
both idike Whem they see pictures of inferior technical quality and 
]p(X)r. entertainment Value fio from both. 

; 194, The succd^; or f jailnpe of a picture, its box office attraction or 
|^9beiradtt, .the hanhonl^^ various factors at different 

of finance and 

1 ':«reait*n«OT^^ integrity, experience and 

.ipr production may be rare, 

this rarity cannot excuse the class of producers one meets in large 
numbers in the industry today, who not merely lack this flair, but 
lack almost every other kind of business or artistic ability. As against 
a few cases of people who have attained the coveted status of pro* 
ducers after yfears of strenuous work in the trade perhaps as artistes 
or technicians, there are a large number of others on whom chancS 
or avarice has thrust the honour. Those who have liquid cash may 
overnight fall victim to the allurements of designing half-baked 
“directors” and rush into production where others with experience 
may fear to tread. There are also actors and actresses and even 
film journalists who, not content with their parts, like to bask in the 
glory of production. They want to show the world that they can not 
merely act in films or write about them, but can also produce theni. 
The glamour wears off under the financial strain, pictures are left 
•half-complete, salaries for artistes are in arrears. Or, when a picture 
Is produced, it is not able to secure exhibition facilities and therefore 
lies in the can. It is disastrous for the average independent producer 
If he cannot cash in on his picture quickly, and because his resources 
can rarely be extended beyond one picture, he naturally makes a 
quick exit. The failure of the many may leave opportunities for the 
few, but by and large production is now a wild gamble, where any 
one who can scrape together a few thousands of rupees enters the 
field in the hope of wdnning big stakes, but ultimately finds himself 
.badly burnt. Nevertheless, the craze persists and apparently fecdi 
itn each failure. 

195. The situation is distressing, the causes are also clearly 
but the solution has not been easy or effective. While it is .. 
on all hands that this sorry state of things must be remedied, and 
remedied quickly, the problem is how to do it. External regulation, 
however, well-intentioned, and particularly if it comes from the Gov- 
ernment, is liable to be resented in a matter that the industry is 
Inclined to view as a domestic question, the function of bringing 
order out of chaos being viewed as better left in the hands of prch 
-ducers’ organisations. 


196. In this context, it will be useful to review briefly the existing 

organisations of producers. The only organisation concerned exclu- 
sively with producers is the Indian Motion Picture Producers Asso- 
ciation with its headquarters in Bombay. Established in 1937 and 
registered under the Indian Companies Act in October, 1938, the 
membership of the IMPPA comprises both studio-owning and indfti 
pendent producers. Any individual, firm or company who has either 
produced one Indian feature film or is the owner or lessee of a studid 
Is eligible for ordinary membership, while those who have started 
actual production of a full length feature film are eligible for asso- 
•ciate membership. The membership of the Indian Motion Picture 
Producers Association in 1949 was 200. Next in importance fronfi 
the point of membership is the South Indian Film Chamber of .Coni- 
merce, with its head office at Madras. This organisation includes 
producers, distributors and exhibitors. The, number of produces, 
members of the SIFCC in 1949 was 87. The ‘Bengal Motion Picture 
Association in Calcutta is organised on lines similar to its Sou^ 
^^ian counterpart, and had 40 producer members on its rolls in 19^ 
Tliere is a new association eaUed the Otdl # ' m 



Bombay. This one-year-old body has an all India scope, and member> 
fhip is open to “any person resident in India or any firm having an 
established place of business jn India or being connected with the 
short film trade and industry as producers, distributors, exhibitors 
technicians or any other capacity and other persons in the short film 
trade and industry^. The members of the Short Film Guild are 
producers of documentaries and educational films. The number of 
members in 1949 was 10. 

197. The IMPPA has been seized with the problem of over- 
production and regulation of the industry on the production side, 
•Its control over members is purely .“moral” and in 1948 it is reported 
to have formulated a draft scheme for “voluntary control of produ^ 
tion”. The scheme was placed before meetings of the general body 
of members. But from discussions held at these meeluigs', iha 
“executive committee of the IMPPA is said to have felt that “the 
•scheme had not the unanimous support of the members”, and, there- 
fore. it was eventually dropped. The annual report of the IMPPA 
for 1948-49 recording this failure, adds, “The experiences of the 
'Committee have revealed once again that, unless members in the 
Industry forget their selfish interests and stand as one unit for the 
betterment of the industry and incidentally for their own benefit, 
ho important scheme or plan can be worked to advantage”. (Vide 
IMPPA annual report for 1948-49 page 3.) 

198. The helplessness of the IMPPA. the premier organisation of 
film producers, to control the activities of its members is illustrated 
by its inability to check the vagaries of artistes and their demands, 
to secure equitable distribution of raw film stock by breaking down 
bottlenecks and plugging leakages, and to prevent or arbitrate in 
disputes arising between producer-members and workers. In the 
matter of voicing its grievances and making demands for redress 
from the government, however, it has been able to speak with some 
sporadic unanimity. In protest against the increase of entertainment 
tax. film producers organised a countrywide voluntary suspension of 

'cinemas for one day on June 30th. 1949. It is not. therefore, correct 
to assume that there is lack or the absence of will for united action. 
What is really lacking is the realisation that the same will and 
determination could and must be more appropriately directed to 
effect an internal clean-up. 

199. Artistic taient.— Several types of artistic talent go into the 
making of a story. There is the literary talent, required for the 
writing of the story, preparation of the dialogue and the composing 
of songs and lyrics. There is the histrionic talent required for depict- 
ing the story in action and speech before the camera and microphone, 
whether the parts be important ones assigned to name stars or minor 
ones assigned to individuals or groups of artistes who in the mass, 
have to convey a particular idea. There is the musical talent, requir- 
ed both for composing the songs and the incidental music, and also 
ior performing it in front of the microphone. The film industry usei 
quite a lot of talent of the various types and has generally complain- 
ed that talent is so short in this country that it has become alarmjnffi 
ly expensive and has also to be diluted so greatly that the average 
quality is low. 


200. In the case of literary talent, recriminations have been 
mutual.' Well-known figures in the literary world have complained 
of lack of appreciation on the part of film producers of the talent 
that is available in this country. Producers have been accused of 
being blind to the wealth of material that is available and of even 
being generally prejudiced against any ideas that do not coincide widt 
their own pre-conceived notions of what the public wants. On the 
other hand, producers have complained that writers have not been 
able to realise the difference in the method of presentation that is 
necessary for the film and that they continued to think in terms of 
the printed word. Further, they say, authors have been generally 
over-sensitive and have not taken kindly to changes or modifications 
suggested by producers in the light of past experience. 

201. In other countries, producers are generally inclined to buy 
the screen rights of stories which have achieved wide publicity either 
In the form of books or through journals and magazines. In such 
cases, the story is already weli-known, or so at least the producers 
believe. In India literacy is not very widespread and taking into 
account the comparatively small circulation of journals or the even 
smaller sales of books in relation to the minimum audience that a 
producer expects for his films, the advantages of such stories that 
have already been pre-sold to the public are negligible. There have 
been numerous instances where the works of well-known novelists 
have been adapted for the screen, but it is possible that their success 
was due more to the strength of the story or the manner of its pre- 
sentation on the screen than to the fact that the story in book form 
had achieved some sort of circulation. The very large audiences 
.that such stories have attracted could not conceivably have all been 
familiar with the stories or even vijth the name of the author. Somei- 
times the stories have been presented without even proper acknow- 
ledgment of the original authorship and still have succeeded because 
of the intrinsic merits of the story. There is no doubt, therefore, 
)hat the public like and will largely patronise good stories, though 
jUiey may not have been familiar with them in the written form. 

202. Central Bureau of story material.— ftoducers themselves 
have represented to us that while they are prepared to accept stories 
whether published or unpublished provided they are suitable for 
presentation in the form of a film, their difficulty has been to locate 
such material. Only a few of the large producers have got any story 
department where books or manuscripts can be considered and, even 
)n these cases, the facilities for surveying all current literature or 
even that produced in this country are very inadequate. Both 
authors and producers have suggested that a Central Story Bureau 
which would provide periodical abstracts of stories submitted to it 
or scrutinised by it would prove of great service to the industry. 

203. While the existence of such a Bureau can help in bringing 
tbout closer contact between writers and producers, it cannot over* 
come any shortage of actual material. It has been represented to us 
by some witnesses that, though we have in recent years added to 
our means of mechanically multiplying coverage, through public*- 
fions. the radio and the film, there has not been an increase in artistic 
output which can keep pace with the growing demands of these ^reo 
means of communication. Even some of the authors who appear^ 


before the Committee agreed that such a shortage could well exists 
and that one has only to look at the dearth of original material in 
all these fields of activity to be convinced that the demand has out< 
paced the output. This is not a situation which can be remedied by 
Governmental measures. The radio which is run under State 
auspices appears to have tried a number of measures, for stimulating 
literary output, but senior officers of A.I.R, who appeared before the 
Committee admitted that they too are faced with the shortage o< 
fresh material. A remedy which has been suggested by those to 
whom we put the question is that this country should draw upon 
the literary resources of other countries also to the extent possible. 
Wo agree that such a measure need not be taken as a confession of 
failure because it is well-known that film producers in other 
•Countries, too, draw upon the resources of the entire world for their 
literary raw material. 

204. Another source of story material that has been mentioned 
frequently lies in our own ancient literature. A number of producers 
are already drawing upon this supply for the production of whaf 
are known in the trade as “mythological” or “folklore” pictures. In 
our view, the ancient literature of our land can also be interpreted 
as presenting, in the form of parables or allegories, the problems that 
exist even today and offering solutions that have validity even in 
this century. We would, therefore, suggest that, when drawing upon 
fcuch ancient sources, producers should look upon them not merely 
as collections of fairy tales but endeavour to interpret on the screed 
the wisdom that lies enshrined in them. 

205. Actors and actresses employed by the film industry can be 
classified roughly into two categories: 

(i) stars who have major parts to play in the story, and 

(ii) extras who take part mainly in scenes of large group! 

where the individual is lost in the crowd. 

In between these two categories come the actors of minor parts, 
known as “bit” parts in the industry as well as “character” actors 
.who depict persons who are typical, slightly out of the ordinary and 
who have specialised in the depiction of such parts. 

206. Shortage of “stars'*. — The main difficulty of the industry has 
been the shortage of stars. Every producer is naturally anxious to 
present in his story actors and actresses who have proved populaf 
with the audiences. In the early days of the film industry in tho 
■U.S.A.. very few of those who saw films had the slightest knowledge 
'of even the names of the people who acted; nor had they any inter^ 
-in them as such. Later, certain outstanding personalities who appear* 
ed in short one-reel features so caught the fancy of the public thaf 
people started asking at the box office whether the picture which 
• was being screened showed that particular actor. The “star system* 
thus gradually grew up till today 'ind it has got a firo hold on th« 
industry. Producers wish to engage Stars whose names they cah 
•display outside the theatre, and the: audiences very ofte i look at th« 
n^es of the actors before purchasing their tickets. T le position i« 
briefly summed up by one producer who said: “We are trying to sell 
to the public something in a package. There is the stc y, the actings 


tile music and finally the star value. Unfortunately, many of the 
writers are unknown even if they are very competent, and this 
applies also to the composers and the directors. The stars, however, 
are quite well-known. We' have to persuade the public to buy some- 
thing tied up in a package. We, therefore, have to show outside 
.the package something attractive which they can indentify. You 
cannot blame us for centering all our public! cy around the stars be- 
cause they are the only ones the public already know ab^ut.” 

207. Appearance of “stars” in several pictures at a time. — While 
there can be no intrinsic objection to the star syste.n. the difficulties 
of the industry in India which are usually ascribed to this system 
can really be traced to certain incidental factors. In other countries 
also where the popularity of films depends on star names, the stars 
happen to be engaged by contract to certain producers for a period 
of years. It is the responsibility of the producer to see that while 
the names of the stars are kept in front of the public by judicioua 
publicity in the press, the stars appear only in pictures suited to their 
personality, and in stories which are likely to appeal to the sections 
of the population where they are well-known. A “Cow-boy” star is 
rarely asked to feature in a society melodrama, nor does he make 
his ap^arance in more than two pictures in a year. In India, how- 
ever, the stars are free-lances, who can be engaged by any producer 
and who are quite often under contract to half a dozen different 
producers, each engaged in turning out a film of an entirely difEerent 
type from the others. One exhibitor mentioned the case of a parti- 
cular star who, during 1949, could be seen by anyone who caxed to 
make the test, quarrelling with her boy-friend in half a dozen differ- 
ent cinemas in an equal number of pictures at 7-30 p.m. on any even- 
ing, and being reconciled to him in all these pictures by about 9 p.**. 
There is no doubt that such constant appearance of the same stars 
in roles not always suited to them not merely affects the effective 
screen value of the artistes to^a considerable extent, but also brings 
down the quality of the production. 

208. Handicaps to emotional expression. — Another consequence 
of the star system has been that the artistes divide their time 
between various productions, and being unable to concentrate on 
any one of them, find considerable difficulty in entering into the 
spirit of any of the parts that they take up. One of the main differ- 
ences between acting on the stage and acting on the screen is that 
-the strain involved in the latter case in working up a partiei^^ 
amotion or mood which has to be sustained only for a few mina^tes 
- while the camera records the shot, is very great. On the stage, the 
mood is gradually worked up to the climax and the artiste finds it 
,e(»Aparatively easier to express, day after day if need be, the emo- 
tions and reactions called for by the script. On the screen, how- 
ever, the entire sequence is often built up through shots taken da 3 r 8 
•or even weeks apart, and it is. therefore, very difficult for the artiste 
•to sustain a particular mood. It can easily be imagined how much 
more difficult it would be for the artiste if in between these various 
shots, he has also to present a dozen other emotions for other pictures. 
Some of us were present in a studio when one of the best-known 
^actresses of today was bein<» rehearsed for a tragic scene in a devo- 
tional story. She could not help btprsting into fits of laughter during 


■ f -p- 






^e- rehearsal, and when asked about it, explained that the words isf 
a humorous saene whicn she naa just then piuyeu in anouier picture 
kept on coming oack to ner mmu. Ihis was no aouoi an unusual 
case. We ieel, however, mat even the most lalenied artiste wouid 
lind difficulty in putting on several dilierent emotions for unconnect- 
ed stories to be acted on the same day. Ihe acting in such cases in- 
evitably becomes mechanical, like putting on a particular dress, 
and cannot but lower the emotional appeal of the scene, not to spealc 
Of the reputation of the artiste. 

209. One of the actresses who appeared before the Committee 
sought to defend the system in the following manner; “Few of the 
producers”, she said, “have got resources for making more than one 

f iicture a year. If we are tied up to a single producer, we are also 
imited only to one production a year. Apart from the restriction in 
revenue that this imposes, our future is also bound up with the 
Success of that particular picture. Since a large proportion of the 
films in each year are flops, a very large proportion of the acting 
fraternity will be associated in the public mind only with such flops. 
When, on the other hand, we act in three or four pictures released 
at the same time, we have a much better chance of participating in a 
“hit” and sharing the credit for its success.” 

210. To the extent that the large number of flops produced in each 
year is a definite handicap to the acting profession, we agree W'th 
tile argument advanced above, but we cannot accept this as justifi- 
cation for any person acting simultaneously in a large number nf 
pictures to the detriment of quality and the deterioration of art. In 
answer to our questions, this actress admitted, as have others, that 
though they would like to retain the freedom to act in four to six 
pictures in a vear, it is definitely detrimental to the standard of 
their actini? if they attemnt to po’^tray more than two characters at 
the same time and that they would accent a move to restrict to two 
the number of nictures that an artiste should take up at a time. This 
is a measure of reform which we are sure producers also could 
accept in their own interests. 

211. Organisation of artistesc— Actorj. and actresses have com- 
plained about their inability to negotiate as a gmup with the em- 
ployers. This inability, arising from the lack of a strong a.'sociat'oti 
of artistes which would safeguard their interests, has not merely 
prevented the negotiation of a standard form of contract, but has 
also given rise to certain nractices which are not in the best in- 
terests of the Industry. We are made aware of one instance where g ' 
producer had made changes in the cast and subsequently in the story 
Itself with the result that the person' who was first engaged as heroine 
found herself ultimately displaced. There have been complaints *>£ 
unfair action by employers in other regards also. If there had been 
« we11*drganised association of artistes, such points would have been 
iaken up by them promptly with the employers and a satisfactory 
iettiement arrived at. We* have been imor^ssed bv the services 
i'endered by the “Actors’ Equity” in the U.K. and the U.S.A. and 
tve would strongly urge the artistes in this country to form them- 
delves into a body for corporate action. 

212. Several factors have been blamed for the shortage of acting 
talent in this country. The orodueers have come in for their share. 
^Diey have been accused of lack of courage generally in trying out 


MW talent. It has also been said that they do not encourage xhlik>f 
artistes to earn their laurels, and therefore they insist on the story 
being written in such a fashion that there can be only two or thret 
|>eople in the whole story lyho stand out as human beings in the 
picture. We do not attach much importance to the latter accusation 
because we have also been told of a number of instances where minor 
characters have, by their rendering of even small parts attracted the 
attention of the directors or producers and have been favoured with' 
a much larger part in subsequent pictures. We feel, however, that 
there is some truth in the statement that until an actor or actress has 
been engaged in a number of pictures all of which have turned out 
to be flops, the producer does not think of trying out a new stav. 
There is no doubt that in the matter of casting, many producers act 
in a fashion which would justify their being convicted of superstition 
in this matter; if a particular picture turns out to be a success, ha’f 
the producers in the country start running after the people who 
featured in it. This blind faith of the producers is shown in other 
directions also. If a successful picture happens to be based on 
mythology, a score of such pictures go on the floor; if the cameraman 
of another hit showed darkened skies in any of his scenes, there ii 
a series of pictures that follow it with skies’ of gloom never seen m 
this country in reality. If, therefore, producers are to be blam^ 
for their blind choice of stars, we must keep in mind that this is not 
the only matter in which their ehoice is blind and that the fault t 4 | 
only part of the lack of imagination and of faith in their own ability, 
Which many producers show. 

213. Training of artistes. — Many of the witnesses who appeared 
before us stressed the advantages of a suitable institution whera 
training could be imparted to actors and actresses. Some have sug» 
gested that such training could be given by the Universities, wiUI 
a College of Pine Arts undertaking the responsibility of teaching 
histrionics, elocution, proper accent, etc. Others have suggests 
that these subjects should be taught in specialised institution^ 
where the students could be associated with those who are being 
taught music and dancing. We are examining this suggestion later. 

214. One of the most severe shortages of talent appears to be iff 
the field of music directors. Judging from the compositions on thff 
screen, the composers in many of the film studios lack not mereitf 
inventive ability but also wide acquaintance with the field of 
creative music-in this country or abroad. The bulk of the creative 
artistes in the literary field owe their facility of expression to thff 
deep study that they have made of the works of others as well af 
literature in the making in daily life and conversation. Similarly^ 
it is essential for the composers of music in films to famiHnrica 
themselves with what has already been achieved in the musical field 
before they can start interpreting their own concepts in tenns of 
music. To this knowledge of the musical repertory of the natiouL 
they would have to add also an understanding of the 

idiom required in films and the ability to match the scenes on ' thff 
Screen with the dewriptive or illustrative music which can convey 
even the things which are left out of the picture or the dialogues 
While musical knowledge and experience can be acquired in the few 
good traini^ institutions already existing in diis country, ’ aff 
understanding of the idiom can be acquired only by the study of 
'films wherein music has been most efieciiveiy maced to the (ictutst 


Xven abroad, the number of such films is very small, thou gh post* 
^ar productions show greater understanding in this fnatter. In 
India, however, no serious attempt has been made ei&er to develqs 
musical symbolism or to establish a community of appr^iation 
'Which should transcend even the linguistic limitations of the picture. 
If the music is well fitted in, it shomd ideally be possible to run a 
picture recorded in one language in another area where the language 
is not understood. This would apply not merely to the tunes ca the 
songs but also to the incidental music which is used right through 
the picture. No doubt, at present films in some languages are ^own 
also outside their normal range but this appears to have been 
.achieved in spite of the present limitations of the musical idiom 
of the composers rather than because of the universality of musical 
oppeal. Most of the tunes in current pictures appear to be ground 
out of the mill by hack composers who merely twist a few phrases 
from the last popular hit and it is rarely that one comes across 
-evidence of originality. In explanation of the cycles of musical 
popularity .now favouring one province and then another, critics 
nave said that this' is due to the fact that at any one time the com* 
posers all belong to a particular school. It would appear to us that 
•on the contrary producers engage, during the lifetime of any one of 
these cycles, only composers belonging to the particular school 
which is temporarily fashionable without any conscious attempt to- 
build up a more permanent trend in the musical taste of their- 
nudience. Whether the ultimate responsibility rests with die pro* 
-ducers or with the composers that they employ, the result has been 
.a dreary lack of originality in the tunes and over-exploitation of a 
few tunes from the folk music of one province or another which 
suffer gross mutilation at the hands of the composers before they 
;are recorded on the film. 

215. Productiion: Technicians and their qnallficaUons.-- Techni- 
cians employed in the production of films are directors, screen- 
writers, camera-men, art-directors, sound engineers, laboratory 
workers and editors. Everyone thinks of cameramen, sound engineexn 
end laboratory workers as technicians, since they obviously mmdle 
technical equipment in the course of their work. But it is not 
generally realised in this coimtry that directing a picture is a highly 
* iechniem and specialised job which requires not merely a back- 
iground of culture but also careful training in the techniques of the 
ert and a comprehensive knowledge of film craft, human psychology, 
and of the subject under treatment in a film. Similarly, the screen- 
writer should not merely be a writer but should understand camera 
work, art direction and editing. A qualified art-director is not just a 
scene-painter but an architect or engineer whose settings ' would 
rgive an impression of stability, balance and propoirtion. ediUnv 
too, must have a comprehensiye knowledge of film technique and a 
-capacity to distinguish between the essential and the non-essentiaL 
.'havir^ in view the subject and theme of the film, the audience, apd 
tile raquiremchts of art. Thus, along with the- artistic background 
and cultural fi>!i;^afion, there must be, in all tiiese cases, a technical 
-compreheiiSion df film fiindamentals^ Similarly, the work of the 
so c^led technidans is gradually assuming a more artistic diaracter. 
The cameraman of today is no longer exnected to do the type of 
work <tiiat ttrw. droected of him in the earlier days' of the industry, 
whefi he not mdmy had to arrani^ the lights and run the taiaera. 
Imtislso the ptqeessihg of the film he hid. 

’/.rK'dflA'B' ■ . ■ ' 


Today he is moie of an artist in i^tograpfay. .And, though it 
is still necessny for him to understand the fimdamental nature 
]he p^poQ^ involved and its technical limitations, his day to day 
work on the mechanical side is done on the basis of actual measure^ 
mehts of distance, light, colour values, etc. Moreover, the film that 
he uses today is more ven^tile as well as possessed of considerable 
.latitude with the result that his main work is artistic, involviM the 
^angement of light and shade in a manner that would best depict 
ihe ideas of the scenario-writer and the director. He has to ensure 
that the ^ttings are suitable for the photographic media and that 
the film is as much a success of photographic art as it mlist be of 
other l^ranches. So, while he should be a trained technician by 
idrtue of the additional requirement of artistry in photography, the 
American teim “Director of Photography” fits him better than the 
usual term “Cameraman”. Similarly, the sound-engineer of the 
early days had very often to be a designer and even manufacturer oi 
the equipment he handled rather than the artist that he should be 
today, balancing and controlling the dialogue, voices and music 
fbat go on the sound track. No doubt, he still has to know how his- 
equipment works and how to get the best results out of it; he should 
also have a full imderstanding of what it can do and what it cannot 
do. But his daily task is not merely mechanical; it is more artistic 
and ' comjprehensive. 

216. The laboratory-workers are ultimately responsible for the , 
success or failure of a picture; the best acting and the best music, 
the most careful photography or sound recording can be ruined, and 
is very often ruined, by poor work in the laboratory. In spite of the 
constant improvement in raw film and the development of new 
formulae for jprocessing, which help to produce satisfactory results 
even under difficult conditions, a great deal of responsibility stiU 
rests with the laboratory-worker. At the same time, while the 
cameraman and the sound-engineer perforce take interest in the 
artistic side of their work because they associate themselves with 
&e final product, the interest of the average laboratory worker and 

editor has not extended much beyond the credit title. We feel 
that if technicians have the advantage of sound training, the im- 
{ffovement in the quality of their work would keep pace with the 
growth and requirements of the industry. In brief, the background 
of all the technicians, whether directors, art directors, cameramen, 
sound engineers, laboratbiy workers or editors, should be both, 
^technical and artistic. 

217. Facilities for training technicians.— The training of techni- 
cians is made np of two parts. One is the academic training in an 
institution where they are taught the basic principles of the pro^ 
cesses >(^ich they are to handle and the most scientific and efficient 
method of producing particular results. The other and mm^e difficult 
paH is to teach them what to aim at and how best to achieve k 
particular result. The foundatioxis of and proficiency in the first 

E )cess must be secured in academic and technical institution^ 
aming by trial and error has its obvious limitations; as in other 
spheres of education, book knowledge and practical eacp^ence must 
go hand in hand; 

2181 ^ already mentioned, the possibility of training tedmidansr 
has .been recognized only with reference to cameramen and asnnd 
^ngtol^exs, There were, tiH recency, three institotibns in the cotiiitryv 


at Bont^jr, one .at Madras and one at Bangalore, which aimed at 
.^ving basic training for these two categories of technicians. The 
institution in Btmbay was closed down. The reason given for this 
that the trainees found difficulty in securing employment in the 
tndi^ry. A deputation of students of the Madras institution waited 
upon the Committee to place before us their difficulties in entering 

♦ the industry after the period of basic training. We have no reason 
to believe tMt the trainees from Bangalore have had any better luck. 
We are_ inclin^ to think that the reasons for the lack of success of 
these institutions are three-fold, (1) the limited nature and scope 

* of the training given in these institutions, (2) the lack of appreci- 
ation by senior technicians of the utility of such training, and (3) 
the w;ant of experience among a large number of producers who, 
knowing nothing of the industry themselves, are not even aware 
of what to look for or appreciate in their employees. 

21j9. The institutions at Madras and Bangalore give training in 
photography,, cinematography, soimd recording and motion picture 
projection, They have installed equipment adequate to give the 
students experience in handling any apparatus that might come their 
way when they secure employment. The most serious deficiency, 
however, is the want of a studio. Training cannot be considered ade- 
quate unless the students have opportunities of working in a studio 
on a regular production basis. Cameramen will have to shoot imder 
conditions when a lap^ would have serious consequences; sound- 
engineers should be able to record music and dialogue and not merely 
transcribe from imsatisfactory gramaphone records, and laboratory 
workers should handle film in continuous processing machines and 
not in short lengths. The courses of study themselves are in need of 
revision, and the new curriculum to be drawn up would be most 
useful if, in dr 2 ifting it, help was taken of experienced technicians 
in India and abroad. The present curricula seem not merely elemen- 
^ tary but also somewhat academic. The subjects taught in these ins- 
titutions duplicate to some extent what is taught in general educa- 
• tional institutions; this refers mainly to physics and chemistry. The 
repon seems to to that the minimum educational qualification pres- 
cribed for admission to these institutions is not sufficient to ensure 
an adequate knowledge of the principles of science. A more serious 
defect in the curricula is the mixing -up of different courses. More- 
over, sufficient stress has not been laid upon training in the processing 
and handling of films. While it is ne.cessaiy for a cameraman or a 
Mund engineer to understand what goes on in the laboratory, the 
^ interests of these students should not be dispersed over a wide range 
of subjects. No doubt, in the early stages of the development of the 
film industry, every technician had to be versatile and able to put 
his hand to anything that might be placed before him. Today, how- 
^ ever, developments in every branch of technique have been so 
numerous that each person would have to be a specialist in his own 
line, and the <lay of the all-round technician is past. 

220. Selectioii students and number to be trained.— Such spe- 
cialisation of courses must be: followed by the necessary corollary of 
imecial seieetion of lAudents. As we have already emphasised, the 
work^ the temmicians involves more and more of artistic judgment^ 
and it wouldhe a waste of public funds to impart basic training in 
camera ^irtork to boys ivho have no feeling for pictorial comnoSition or 
to train in sound^recording otoers who cannot tell one note of musto 


from anotiier. The number of students trained each year abovM 
also bear some relation to the requirements of the jndustiy. Th«re are 
only some sixty studios in the county, aud thou^ some of the 
technicians now in employ have practically grown up with the in^ 
dus^, quite a few of the technicians are yoimg and it would be in- 
advisable to expand the training facilities beyond the needs of the 

221. Unonploymmt among trained technicians. — We have 
referred earlier to the difficulties experienced by trained technicians 
in securing employment in film studios. It seems likely that the fact 
that the top posts in each studio are often held by people who have 
had no preliminary training themselves, may have led to imder- 
estimation of the advantages of basic academic training and over- 
estimation of the extent to which one can “learn by doing”. With- 
out being in any way unfair to the general body of technicians now 
in the industry, we cannot help feeling that there is a tendency, at 
least in some quarters, to discount the capabilities and potentialities 
of people who have had more scientific Knowledge than the people 
at the top. 

222. Difficnlttes of providing advanced training abroad.— In most 
advanced coimtries, technicians are united in associations which 
have entered into arrangements with the studios providing for the 
exclusive employment of members of the associations. This arrange- 
ment prevents the employment of Indian technicians in such studios 
in those countries. When they are sent abroad, the intention is that 
the technicians should learn by doing things themselves as well as 
by watching others do them. If the local conditions in any parti- 
cular country prevent the employment of non-union staff, the 
remedy, obviously, is to arrange for membership in such unions. 

i , With this end in view, the Government of India, through their High 
Cbmmissioner in London, initiated negotiations with the Association 
of Cine Technicians in the United Kingdom. The negotiations had 
progressed to a stage when the Association was prepared to accord 
temporary membership to technicians who are memWrs of similar 
. associations in India, provided that the latter would in turn accord 
reciprocity of membership. Indian technicians would have, no doubt, 
derived much ^eater benefit from such reciprocal arrangement than 
foreign technicians. Unfortunately, at that time there was no body 
of technicians in India which could handle negotiations of such 
nature^ and the enquiry of the. Government of India, whether such a 
reciprocal arrangement would be acceptable to Indian technicians, 
was, therefore, addressed to the Indian Motion Picture Producers 
Association who turned it down, possibly under a misunderstanding. 
Whatever the circumstances, the negotiations were suspended at 
that stage. It is obviously necessary for a working association in 
India now to take up these negotiations and bring them to a satis- 
factory conclusion. Reciprocal membership with the A. C. T. in the 
United Kingdom would automatically result in similar eoncefsiong 
from associations in France and the United States with whom the 
British A. C. T. have a working arrangement of this nature, thice 
such arrangements for the employment of Indian techhldahs in 
foreign studios have been completed it would be possible for tha 
Studios to send their senior technicians oversea for aequainting 
fhemselves with the latest devdopments in materiids and tedlltiqttiK^ 


223. The film director.— In the matter of selection of directors, 
we reah» It is not easy to define the qualifications which go to make 
up a good director. No doubt, his cultural background and outlook on 
life should be such as can leave their impress on the films that he 
E^ht mrect. A good director, in the very nature of his functions 
uas to be a man of the world as well as of ideas, possessing tact for 
managing human material, with its multiple emotions and idiosyn- 
cracies, and having the capacity to comprehend and direct the use 
of technical equipment to its best advantage. These are qualities, 
which can be seen rather than translated in academic instructions. 
Yet, these are not ^lll; there are others which beggar precise defini- 

* tion. However, what we have said should help in plimiri^ ti n g the 
type of person whom no amount of training or experience can make 
a successful director. 

224. The functions allotted to the director of a picture are not 
the same in different parts of the country. In Calcutta, for instance, 
he is reported to be still occupying the status enjoyed by directors- 
ten or twenty years ago, when they were solely responsible for modi> 
fications in the story where necessary, the casting of a picture and 
even the allocation of the budget between various heads. In 
Bombay and in Madras, the director more oHen appears to play 
solely his purely technical role, of translating into picture form the- 
story that has been given him. In either case, the primary res- 
ponsibility of making the picture is still his. He has the task of co> 
ordinating the activities of half a dozen technicians, a number of 
stars and experts of the story and music departments, into one 
unitary channel. 

225. There can thus be no gainsaying the fact that a director is 
the pivot round which the whole organisation of a film must revolve. 
His personality must give a distinctive touch to a picture. His treat- 
ment should go a long way to stamp the picture as the work of a 
genius, a master, a charlatan, or an impostor. It should be on him 
that the executive responsibilities must lie of translating into the 
film its higher as well as the common purposes. It is obviously too- 
much to expect him to grow figs out of thistles; what we must 
expect of him is the capacity to distinguish between what would 

, produce figs and what would grow thistles. Similarly, we cannot ask 
him to maintain a uniform' quality or to use nothing but the best 
material in story, art, and men. The paucity of the best, the ten- 
dency of the best among us to relax or to go off, and the limitations, 
which a cooperative venture imposes must be taken note of. What 
we have, however, the right to expect of him is that he will eschew 
toie cheap slapdash stuff, strive to give the best ouj: of the material 
he has at his disposal, and to serve his audience and the community 
hy avoiding' the unhealthy and the undesirable. 

226. We would not, therefore, say that a person would be un- 
suited to direct a picture just because he has previously been writing 
scenarios or assisting with the camera; we note that both in India 
and other countries, many successful directors have been drawn 
from file story and the camera departments. What we wish to em- 
idtiaise, however, is that thmigh such experience gives fhe director 
some advantage, these fumitions cannot be treated as the first rung 
of file ladder nor can fids fact be taken to minimise fhe inmortance of 
the director’s role or the attoinxfients necessary to znake a good 


director. Moreover, the job of directing a picture should not ;be 
conferred as a reward for good work in a dinerent field. This prac- 
tice deprives the studio of the services of a good technician often 
without corresponding benefit to the other branch of work. Direc- 
tors are paid more than other technicians, but the converse, that a 
technician who deserves a higher remuneration should become or be 
made a director, does not follow. 

227. Licensing of directors. — ^In view of the part that a director 
plays in the production of a film and the effect that such a film' can 
have on the tastes, behaviour and attitudes of the public, it has lieen 
suggested to us that directors should be licensed before they are 
permitted to practise their art, just as lawyers, doctors and teachers 
are. While the idea behind the suggestion is, no doubt, praise- 
worthy, we are unable to commend its acceptance. In an artistic field 
like direction we do not consider it any more possible to suggest who 
shall practise and who shall not than in the field of say, literary or 
dramatic work. It is only the judgment of the public, ^ided and led 
by the opinion of well-informed critics, that can decide whether a 
director has proved competent for his task. We do not think, there- 
fore, that employers can be or should be restricted in their choice 
of directors to certain stated fields or academic qualifications. We do 
feel, however, that certain facilities for attaining accomplishments 
and training might be helpful in the selected person being able to 
deliver the goods. 

228. In the course of our mquiry, we have been struck by the 
extent of the misunderstanding that exists regarding the functions^ 
a screen ^ter. We have found many novelists and dramatists com- 
plain that their works had been handed over to hack writers for beinff 
^written for the film. On the other hand, we have also heard nn^ 
^cers complmn of the lack of understanding among writers about 
the needs of the film. The art of writing for publication in the form 
of the printed word is quite different from the technique of writinc a 

scenario. In the latter case, the story has to be divided into shots 

and sequences according to the limitations of the camera, the budget 
of the producer md also ^e psychological requirements of the film* in 
presentation. This is a highly specialised work which can be undeiv 
talcen only by expenenced men and there is no more justification tar 
wnters who complain about their works being re-written than for nrb- 
Queers who expect that literary works would not stand screen reqiUre- 
mei^ straightaway. A numter of writers with experience of film 
work have Mid that it is possible for any writer with imagination to 
grasD in a short time the essentials of writing for the screen if he 
would take interest in other aspects of film production and closely 
study the technique. This is, no doubt, true and were it possible fw 
literary wnters to devote the time and effort necessary for 
purpose, they could certainly, master the methods of adapting their 
works fw the screen. We are doubtful, however, whether they* would 
afforf so much time or even whether the resultant product 
would be worth it, and we are rather worried about the effect 
cloM association with one particular form of expression might have 
on their gener^ literary output. It seems to us preferable that every 
studio should have at its disposal a number of capable writers wto 
been given training in the preparation of see^os. It is bbvioSI 

association with other tedmiclaT^ 
as possible and wide opportunities pf acquiring iboth that 


knowledge and experience and familiarity with film technique with- 
out which they would not be able to do Justice to their job. 

229. In the foregoing paragraphs, we have dealt with the directs, 
-the technician, the story-writer and the editor. We feel we should 
-say a few words about the artistes — both the “star” variety, who, 
according to those who look upon films purely from a commercial 
angle, are, along with music, the leading attractions in a film, and (rf 
the “extra” variety whose contribution to the making of the film is 
mone the less substantial. A good actor is not the product of acade- 
mic institutions though degrees can be a help and an asset. He is 
primarily a combined product of natural talents, helpful environ- 
ments, and suitable opportunities; he is often made or marred by 
skilful or faulty guidance and inspiration. No place or walk of life 
ihas any monopoly of good actors; amateur organisations may dis- 
cover him pr give him a good start, but the actor can come from 
imwhere or eversrwhere. There is place for initiative, iptuition and 
instinct in his make-up; there is equally scope for training and ex- 
perience. In fact, like the proverbial good rice, years add to and do 
anot diminish his glory. 

230. The art itself reuires assiduous study, deep powers of 
observation, hard training, constant application, and, what is not 
^generally recognised, methodical living and appropriate surroimd- 
bigs. As a profession, it is exacting; its glamour attaches to it 
advantages as well as disabilities; the glare of publicity makes an 
actor’s appearances in public an experience rather than a pasl^e. 
All this and the high tension of work and life make them sensitive 
and temperamental. They require conditions _ of work iri which 
their nervous system, undergoing constant strain, can function with 
cCmpdrative calm and concentration. To get the best out of him, the 
.oonmtions must be both soothing and appropriate. He knows that 
art is long and time is fleeting; he also knovrs that his own profee- 
eional life depends on certain elements of which the favours of Dame 
Fortune are not the least utureliable. He has to live well in order to 
ereate an impression in public; he has few of the privileges but 
many of the penalties of Neatness once he attains stardom. 

231 in India, in addition to these (haracteristics of an artiste’s 
life and career, he has often to bear the brunt of the social odium 
which has unfortunately come to be associated with the profession. 
To be an actor or actress is to have the perpetual tattoo mark of a 
•doubtful past and an iinsavoury present. The blow falls more 
heavily on the female of the species. Single, there are scores of 
aflfairs hinted at; married, there are tales of lapses. In either case, 
he or she is never given the benefit of doubt. To people accustomed 
to a more secure existence, this may not appear to be of significance, 
but to one who has to play the part, the experience is apt either to 
xouse him to challenge and defiance or to introduce more of the mer- 
cenary and associated characteristics. 

232. What we have said above applies in a greater degree to the 
ihore prominent pemonalities than to the lesser lights on ^he film 
firmament. The latter have, however, to face all the privations 
which go with high titles and. snisdl pecuniary benefits or with the 
wide gmf between artificial escpectations and stem realities. Th^ 
>^Ken have the gd^tmour of a name attached to emptiness of sub^ 
lance. Poorly yet having to live well to Justify the name awt 


future . anticipations, they are quite often subjected to exploitation 
by middlemen who practise to perfection the art of living at some- 
body else’s expend and making money out of somei^y else’s talents. 
Even though their roles are small, the artists have to spend subs- 
tantial amounts in equipping themselves for them. The glamour of 
the profession attracts them at an early impressionable age: once in 
It, ^ey find its coils too constricting to allow them to escape: Half 
or ill-educated, they seldom have the assurance and self-confidence- 
which are acquired easily at academic institutions; theirs is a hard 
and uphill career through life; one false step or wrong turn and they 
trip down to the very bottom of life and the social ladder. 

M3. We have deliberately devoted so much attention to the* 
various contributories to a finished picture because we would like,, 
not only ourselves but also those to whom it will fall to determine 
the future of this industry, constantly to bear in mind the require- 
ments of the industry and its human and material aspects. ' To ignore- 
these basic factors would be in serious derogation of the value of any 
constructive effort which we or tjiey might make to improve the- 

E resent conditions. We would also like to point out that what we 
ave said above gives some idea of the magnitude of that task of 
improvement. There can be no short cut to success in it; its Gordian 
knots cannot be cut at one stretch; they have to be patiently and 
smilingly unravelled with determination, skill and constant appli- 
cation, taking both a serious and comprehending view of our res- 
ponsibilities and a keen but s3nnpathetic understanding of the per- 
sonalities and problems involved*. Above all, the stimulus as well 
as the efforts must come from within and from without: no one- 
^ed effort or half-baked theories will yield decisive results. 

234. Standards of skill and wag^.— The skilled labour employed 
in the studios as distinct from the professional labour of technicians 
consists mainly of artisans engaged in the production of sets and 
props as well as of electricians used for the maintenance of the 
power supply arrangements. The main categories of artisans em-s 
ployed are carpenters, moulders and painters. • At present na 
standard of q^lifications is prescribed for any one of these cate- 

S ries, and it is therefore difficult to compare the wages paid in this 
iustry with those paid elsewhere. Ibe workers themselves, at 
least at Bombay, are aware of this lacuna and are trying to set up* 
their own training institution which would serve incidentally to- 
ascertain the skill of each employee. When once this has been done, 
it would be possible for them to negotiate with the employers for 
Standard rates of wages. Since, however, their union is not really 
strong enough to be able to run such an institution satisfactorily, we 
fieel it would be necessary for the employers and for the State alg**: 
to help in this matter. 

235. In most States there are polytechnics where training is giv en * 
in carpent^ and joinery, but there are rarely any institutions avail- 
able for training in the building trades some of vffiich have reference- 
to the film industry. It is for Qxe consideration of the State Govern- 
ments \^ether special institutions should not be started where- 
teaining in painting, plastering, etc. are givea This would equip* 
the workers not merely for the film indusla^ but also for the builcUi^ 
industry which can today accommodate mimy more skilled wturkeadi 
tt*n are awilable. » ^ 


236. the evidence before ns, it would appear that the rele»- 
vant sections of the Industrial Disputes Act governing the establish*' 
ment of Works Covmcils have not been applied to this industry in . 
Bombay or elsewhere, and the workers have expressed the fear that 
even after the Pair Wages Act becomes law, they would have some 
difficulty in establishing the standards of skill required for each 
category of employees and to get fair wages fixed up. In a place 
like Bombay where the volume of labour employed in this industry 
is large enough to warrant the formation of a strong union, we feel 
that it is the duty of the employers also to help in establishing rela- 
tions with the employees. Similar stable arrangements will have 
to be arrived at also in Madras and Calcutta where the nvimber of 
employees is fairly lai^e, but at both these places we found difficiilty 
in contacting the representatives of the workers themselves. At 
Calcutta we were able to get some information out of a body of 
workers, but in Madras we could not. meet any authorised represen-- 
tative of the workers. 

237. The Factories Act and overtime employment. — ^The Factories: 
Act appears to have been applied in Bombay to all skilled and un- 
skilled workers, but technicians and actors do not come within the 
provisions of the Act. The employers in Bombay feel that the 
application straightaway of the provisions of the Factories Act to 
the film production industry is not equitable. Their contention is 
tliat conditions in this industry are quite different. The worker is 
not continuously on his toes tending machines or carrying on his 
work as he would at a factory or similar establishment. There are 
long periods of lull and admittedly feverish periods of activity there- 
after. Their contention is that the conditions of work normally 
allow the worker to gel sufficient rest between periods of activity 
and that the employment of workers on overtime at the end of the 
day would not tax his physical capacity in the same manner that it 
would in any other industry. They say, therefore, that this industry 
should be exempted at least from the provisions regarding the em- 
ployment of workers on overtime. On the other hand, the represen- 
tatives of the employees who appeared before us did not favour this 
suggestion. They felt that even though there are long stretches of 
inactivity in the studios, it was really for the emplpyers to find them 
work and not to attempt long stretches on overtime. As far as we- 
eould ascertain, the total strength of labour employed in each studio 
is determined according to the requirements of the peak periods, 
and a studio owner engages all the number that he is likely to find 
use for during such periods. While it is no doubt possible for him to 
distribute the work to some extent between the idle periods and the 
rush periods, the nature of the industry precludes any uniform dis- 
tribution over the whole working shift. Moreover, the useful em- 
ployment of these people depends a ^at deal upon the ready 
availability of actors as well as of technicians at all tunes and neither 

these two could be had whenever wanted. We feel, that prima 
/ode, the application of the provisions of the Indian Factories Act 
regarding overtime to workers in thb film industry does not seem 
Impropriate. In other States where the provisioirs of the Factories 
Ad have not so far been applied to employees in the studios, we 
woidd suggest that simultaneously with such application, relaxatiour 
qf: over-time rules to the extent found advisable at Bombay shoultld 
also be ma^ aimUcable. 

238. At Madras there was a suggestion that the technicians should 
.also be grouped with the skilled and unsk illed workers in the 
•matter of the application of the Factories Act regarding working 
hours. The technicians stand in a different class, and with proper 
organisation would have very strong bargaining powers both in 
respect of the conditions of employment as well as of working hours. 
Their plea to be treated on the same basis as artisans does not befit 
their professional dignity or their position in the industry. 

239. In order to permit the production of films of a satisfactory 
technical standard and without undue delay, it is necessary for each 
studio to possess a certain minimum of technical facilities. These 
include floor space, lighting equipment, cameras, recording channela 
and workshops for carpentry, plastering work, painting, etc. During 
the course of our visits to a large number of leading studios in the 
counter, we were struck by the extent to which the standard of 
technical facilities in this country falls in many respects short of not 
merely what is available in other countries abroad but of what is the 
mnimum required for satisfactory work. The flooring of the studios 
in most cases was not good enough to permit the satisfactory use of 
camera dollies and cranes. Lighting facilities were extremely in- 
adequate and their shortage often accounted for a large proportion 
of the delay in setting up a new set. In most cases the total number 
of lights available was not enough for proper illumination of large 
sets and the power supply was limited and insufficient. The 
acoustic characteristics of the studios, though fairly satisfactory 
‘from the point of reverberation, was poor in respect of transmission 
•of sound from outside; in fact there was only one studio among the 
large number we visited which was fairly proof against exterior 
noises. Many of the studios did not have facilities for re-recording 
or for pre-scoring. In a number of cases the cameras were the 
■worse for wear and required urgent replacement The sound 
channels also were generally of the mobile type, installed in truclo, 
and there were few studios which had permanent studio chahnels 
•properly installed. 

240. The processing laboratories were also disappointing from' the 
•point of view of technical efficiency. The arrangements for main- 
taining constant temperatures of the baths were in some cases in^ 
.adequate and in very few laboratories were there facilities for 
testing the condition of the baths in the course of use Technical 
facilities for sensitometry and for checking density were rarelv maxi 

* even where they were available. 

241. While it is certainly a credit to the Indian film industry that 

acceptable films with the limited 
facilifaes available, we feel that it is a case of the ship being spoiled 
ifor a haTCnny worth of tar. There is no doubt that the capital re- 
sources of the studio-owners are generally limited and that the large 
number of studios that are working today have by mutual competi- 
tion brought down the rental rates to such a low figure that it cannot 
«over the interest charges on investments. We have, however, before 
IK the evidence of many studio-owners as well as producers to tiie 
OTTCt that mere are always producers who are prepared to pay a 

facilities are forthcoming in the studios. We 
feel that the limited amount of capital available has been frittwed 
-away on tte construction of numerically more studios than -we need, 
awhile at the same tame the standard of equipment is below noz^dT 


242. Many producers and studio-owners are agreed that tiie 
vemedy for this state of affairs would be to license studios for or®* 
duction, such licences being granted only in the case of the studios^ 
which have all the necessary facilities. Others, while agreeing that 
inefficient studios should be forced to close down, were not sure 
•whether a system of licensing would be able to achieve the desired 
result. Later in this Chapter we are examining some of the reasons 
■for delays in production with a consequent increase in cost. We 
must, however, mention here the fact that poor equipment in a studio 
is by itself the cause of very heavy delays. A technician at Calcutta 
who had had the benefit of some training in the U.K., told us that 
^ne of the things that had impressed him most in that country was 
the availability of, a large number of lights in each floor which 
•enabled the cameraman to arrange the lighting in about one-fourth of 
the time normally taken in India. If we consider the fact that not 
merely the entire personnel of the studio but also the actors, 
technicians and the director are kept in forced idleness .while ^ 
•sets are being lighted it will be seen that the sooner such studios 
which are wasteful of time, are eliminated from the industry, the 
better it would be for all concerned. The gap between the present 
•technical standards of our studios and the minimum required for 
•efficient working may not be as big as some people fear. We feel 
it would be more a question of careful planning and that it would 
be more economical for a studio-owner to operate, say, three fuUy- 
•equipped studios instead of five inefficient ones. 

243. It is not merely in the matter of technical equipment that 
many of the studios are found deficient. The facilities for the stor- 
age of set material are very poor in almost every case. Moreover, 
•quite a lot of stuff on which large sums of money have been spqnt 
-are stacked up haphazard in a manner which not merely prevents 
•their being re-used when possible but also constitutes a serious fire 
hazard. It was only at a few studios that we found careful indexing 
nnd storage of material got ready for previous productions. We feel 
that such a store-room is an indispensable adjunct to every 8tu<Uo. 
It might also provide a partial solution to the problem of work being 
taken on in fits and starts in a studio. With shops properly equipped 
nnd laid out for carpentry, moulding, and suitable storage fixities, 
it should be possible to prepare in advance the material required few 
•sets needed later. This would make for quicker setting up of the 
sets and consequently of greater usage of the studios themselves. 

244. Considerable difficulty appears to arise from the fact that 
•studios have been located haphazmd wherever the capitalists could 
secure a bit of open ground, if possible with a shed already standiQg 
•upon it This, we feel, is sesponsible for the considerable ainoum 
•of overcrowding and faulty lay-out in the studios today. Far too 
much capital has been invested in the existing studios for us to be 
able to recommend that they should all be removed to the suburbs 
of the cities and ibere properly laid out in ample grounds. Wje were 
•glad to note that at least in Madras a separate emony is coming vm 
-on the outskirts of the city where a number of studios are locatea A 
similar trend is also visible in Calcutta and we hope that ultimately 
the.majoriiy of the studios now located in the hearts of the dties 
•would be moyed out to the suburbs where the workers will have mane, 
sunple space, freshmr air and h»s noisy surroundings. 


' 245. There has been some conflict of opinion on the advisabili^ 
of having a fllm colony where all studios are located and where the 
workers also live. The fear has been expressed that this would load 
to what has been termed the “Hollywood mentality,” where the 
workers, mainly those engaged with artistic and creative activity^ 
m not. merely excluded from the companionship of other artistic- 
workers but are also thrown so much into one another’s company 
that their outlook and approach becomes more or less merged inta 
one common channel. We do not feel that this danger exists in 
India as long as the film industry is, as at present, distributed over 
a number of large cities. Films in Hindi, which have an all-India 
circulation, are being produced at each of these centres and would to 
some extent serve as a corrective to those workers who have a 
tendency to develop an one-track mind. Moreover, production is 
also distributed at each centre over a number of individual concerns 
and in consequence there is not the same danger of deadly uniformity 
that appears to afflict Hollywood. Further, with the developments 
of transport facilities in the cities, it .should be possible for the 
workers to live outside the studio area and thus retain continuous 
contact with other streams of cultural activity. We would, there- 
fore, recommend to the State Government that they should dis- 
courage the tendency to locate studios in the heart of towns and to 
assist in every way their removal to the suburbs. 

246. At present, onlsr a handful of producers, own their own 
studios and even in their cases their output does not utilise all the 
facilities that they command. There are several studios where the 
owners themselves do not engage in production. The independent 
producers who do not have any studios of their own rent out studios 
Irom these studio-owners. We are referring later to the question of 
costs as linked up with this question of renting but we would like to 
mention here that a very large number of independents have com- 
plained to us about the lack of co-operation from the owners of the 
studios. This, we feel, is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. The- 
success of the industry depends today on the fullest co-operation 
between the studio-owners and the independents. Few studio-owners: 
have the resources necessary for keeping their studios engaged all thtf 
tfane in production on their own account, and the extent to which 
they would be able to recover their overheads from independents. 
Would naturally depend upon the facilities they offer and co-opera- 
tion they extend to independent producers who might like to use- 
their studios. 

247. Production problems.— We feel that in order to appreciate- 
the administrative and financial problems of the film production in- 
dustry, it is essential to know the mechanism through which it 
works, the methods of work which it employs and the system antf 
procedure which it adopts. The U.S«A. has for long been taken a» 

model for organisation in the film industry almost everywhere- 
therefore, be useful to study the methods applied in- 
the U.S.A., where the indus^, because of its scope and long stand- 
1^, .has been able to achieve a degree of standardisation und ? 
efficiency which has attracted the attention of the wcrld. 

248. The writer, flie prodnear and the director.— The first step im 
the making of a film is the securing of a suitable story. These storiee 
are very often taken fnnn pubUsned works. . Occasionally, writi^ 
mxtployed in the studios are commissioned to write a story anmnd w 


-theme which is considered likely to be of interest to the {mUkr 
whether because of the general applicability of the theme or its 
-topical interest. The producer entrusts the story to specialist writera 
-<of scenarios who analyse the theme and incidents and arrange them 
into a number of sequences. When the draft script is ready, the 
producer chooses a suitable director for taking charge of the picture. 
The director is ultimately responsible for deciding how the i^as 
-embodied in the shooting script are to be translated into pictures. 
He, therefore, has to work in close consultation with the writer of 
'the story so that the rendering might be sympathetic. 

249. Bndgetiiig. — ^When a draft has 'emerged which satisfies all the 
three, the writer, the producer and the director, it is sent on to the 
Production Office, where the man power and materials required are 
•«stimated. For this purpose, the script is then broken down into its 
various elements in order to enable the head of each department in 
the studio to know what he has to contribute. For instance, the eree* 
tion of sets would concern not merely the art department but also the 
workshop and the property and electrical departments. With the 
estimates prepared by each of these sections, the budget is prepared, 
which is again discussed and retrised if the original figures cannot be 

250. Discussion with technicians and artistes.— During this stage 
•of preparation, which usually takes some months, the director has 
to work in consultation both with the art-director and the camera- 
man. These discussions are sometimes followed by the making of 
.sketches and sometimes of small models of the sets so that everyone 
would have a clear idea of what has to be done. The story is also 
•discussed with the Music D^artment, and in the case of a “musical”, 
song-writers are engaged. When the script has been prepared in the 
iinal draft to everyone’s satisfaction, thft picture is ready to go on 
'the fioor. 

251. The shooting schedule. — Since it is not always convenient 
-or economical to shoot the scenes in the particular order in which 
'they appear in the story, a separate shooting schedule is prepared in 
which the scenes are regrouped so that those requiring the same set 
or location or in which the same group of actors participate, can be 
-shot together. The actual shootihg of the film in the studio normally 
takes about two months, a period which is exceeded only rarely, 
when there is a good deal of shooting on location. 

252. U. S. Production Code Administratimi. — ^This planning is 
•^lone' and becomes necessary not only because business prudence an4 

methods dictate it but also because it is essential for a producer toj 
^et his entire shooting script epproved by the Production Code Ad- 
ministration. This is a body set up by the industry in order to 
■advise them on the aspects which are likely to displease or offend 
the various sections of the public or the censors in countries where 
- the film may be sent. This Administration insists on being provided 
with a complete copy of the shooting script for the purpose of exami- 
nation before approving production. The function of the Production 
■miode Administration in the United States is to ensure tiiat no film is 

E roduced to which objection is likely to be taken later either in the 
ome or export markets.. It came into being twenty years ago, at a, 
time when thefe was coi&iderable agitatlcm in the U^S. about the 
'incnal standaids underlying - the mlotion pictures of the time. It 
represents the effort of the film industry to ref orm itself b^imre ffie 


’ wblio or the State interfered more drastically in the matter. Tht- 
Administration has drawn up a code (reproduced in Appendix XV> 
mid ^ugh this referred primarily to the lapses most prevalent al 
the time and to the conventions of North American society, it ha8> 
considerable interest for us. The main influence of the Production 
Code Administration has uot, however, been confined to the inter- 
pKtation of the Code and to the censoring of^ictures in accordance- 
with it. At the outset, it was not considered advisable to bring in 
the Production Code Administration before or during the actual pro- 
duction of the picture, the idea being that the picture when com- 
pleted, .would be submitted to, the .Production Code Administration. 

, for approval. It was soon discovered that such an arrangement did- 
not work since many producers, in the best of faith, submitted films- 
which, in their judgment, appeared to be in conformity with the pro- 
visions of the Code, but which, when examined by the Production 
Code Administration, were found to violate the Code in part or 
whole, Arrangement was, therefore, introduced, under which the 
producer submite to the Production Code Administration not merely 
tile shooting script but even the manuscript of the story to be filmed,, 
as well as any background material that might be available. AIE 
this material is studied by the Production Code Administration, 
before any advice is tendered to the producer. The assistance and 
guidance provided by the Production Code Administration cover the 
following heads: — 

A. Theme.— There is a preliminary conference between the head 
of the Production Code Administration or members of his staff and 
the producer for considering the basic story before the screen adap- 
tation is written. Sometimes a conference is held even before the 
stoiy is purchased by the producer. At this point, the plot is dis- 
cussed as a whole in its re^tion to the Production Code. Whenever 
It appears that particular care will be required in the treatment of 
the basic theme, the head of the Production Code Administration is. 
informed and he in turn officially warns the studio heads of the Com- 
pany planning the production. 

B. Script.— The script submitted by the producing company under- 
goes careful scrutiny. The examination is usually made by membero 
of the staff who report to the head any violation of Code require- 
ments or any points where particular care is necessary. The head of 
the Production Code Administration then communicates a gain witlr 
the producing company with a warning that the completed picture 
cannot be approved by the Production Code Administration if certain 
lines, scenes or action appear as planned. He also indicates the 
likelihood of censorial action with regard to specific lines, scenes or 
action. Scenario conferences are held with writers and others to- 
effect necessary changes in the script. And the final script for pro- 
duction is again submitted to and approved in writing by the head: 
of the Production Code Administration. 

d. Production. — Continued conferences , are held during produc- 
tion so that any changes made in the script as well ^ all lyrics,, 
costumes and sets may be incorporated and passed. Whenever a pro- 
ducer is in doubt about the script and other details being in confor- 
mity with the Code, at his request, previews are held of separate- 
sequences during the course of production. In such cases, the 
Production Code Administration Often recommends that the producer- 
should make “protection shots’* of particular see33es, .^i8 is done to» 


avoid the expense of retakes in the event of the ori|(inal sequence^ 
becoming suggestive or offensive when seen in its context “i^oteo 
tion shots” are also recommended for scenes which may not be 
acceptable in particular countries although acceptable in the U.S.A. 
(While the company is assembled and making the picture, “protec- 
tion shots” ihyolve little additional cost, whereas the cost of re-^ 
assembling i^e company subsequently might easily be prohibitive and 
even perhaps be impossible by the time the finished picture is viewed 
by the Production Code Administration). 

D. Approval.— Preview of the completed picture is held in the 
Production Code Administration projection room and is attended by 
two staff members who had previously worked on the script and by 
a third member of the staff who comes to the picture with a fresh 

■ mind. These three men report to the head of the Production Code 
Administration at the full staff meeting held every morning. Scenes, 
sequences, dialogue or action in violation of the Code are deleted 
from the finished picture. A certificate of approval is issued without 
which a picture cannot be distributed or exhdbited by any member 
company or its affiliate. 

E. Export. — ^During the war, the Export Review Board constituted 
under the office of Censorship, made it a practice to see the film. 
when it was reviewed - by the Production Code Administration so as- 
to ensure that the picture did not reveal military secrets or informa- 
tion to the enemy or contain information detrimental to the interests 
of the United States. 

253. From this brief description of American methods, it will be 
seen that there the story is the beginning of the enterprise, the 
director is associated with it almost at its inception, there is careful 
p lanning of the whole film in advance, the script is ready before the 
picture goes to the sets and industry h 2 is set up its own organisations 
to scrutinise first the script and subsequently the finished picture; 
in otker words, as far as possible, the producer and the industry see ' 
to it toat nothing is left to chance or caprice and production itself is 
not e hush-hush affair but a composite process involving internal and 
external consultations. 

254. In India, however, things are different. The ' attention to 
planning is neither so detailed nor so close. An air of secrecy or 
mystery surrounds the script and often not even the producer is 
sut^ of the financial side of the enterprise. Everything..seems elastic; 
the story is not final nor the shooting schedule. There is perennial 
room for improvement and plagiarism. The progress of released pic- 
tures is closely watched to see if any particularly successful or 
attractive features could be crammed into the picture whether they 
suited the general layout or not. Unnecessary and avoidable delays 
occur either because the script is not ready or because the details 
are not complete. Actors and technicians have complained with 
justification that often they are asked to prepare themselves for 
footing a particular scene at short notice end without any sufficient" 
fore-knowlec^ of what they are required to do. They have to- 
wait uimecessaiily on the sets and shooting days have to be extend- 
ed. Quite often also they do not get the full script of their allotted 
parts^fibe script is shown to them at thnes on the spot: no rehearsals: 
are held and often no advance coaching or guidance prowded. Flan^ 
ning, if at all, is extremely vague and can go wrong by a wide margin. 
In D^rt; ^ngs aie dmie in a manner they slmuldcnot be. We- 


^believe that this is true of a large majority of productions and thi« 
~iias b^n confirmed by our own observations during the course of 

- our visits to the various studios vdien pictures were on the set. We 
-know that producers have their own stories to tell, of lapses on the 
,;{>art of actors ahd technicians. We have no doubt that these are also 

largely true and that these persons also suffer from the common 
^malaise of lack of system in their habits and temperamental and 
• other defecte but we are convinced that such unbusiness*like method, 
unsystematic planning or lack of planning, and avoidable delays 
. severely detract from the efficiency and profits of the industry. The 
t producers realise it but blame everybody else but themselves or 
'Cwdidly confess their being at the mercy of this or that person; the 
'directors are conscious of it but seem equally or even more helpless. 

255. We also think it only fair to state that the producers enter* 
tain genuine apprehensions of piracy of their stories amd ideas if they 
made their scripts or shooting schedules more or less a public property 
or if they shared their contents so liberally as the American methods 
reqmre. We were told of instances in which this was actually done 

-and others more or less “stole” the producer’s cherished secrets. Un- 
.* fortunately such \mdesirable trade practices exist in the industry but 
' we do not think they are peculiar to the film industry. The final pro- 
tection to a producer cannot be secrecy at the cost of efficiency but 

- an awakened public conscience and we do not despair of safeguards 
being found to eliminate or at least considerably diminish the possi- 

' bilities of such piracies. 

256. Advantages of prior scrutiny.— Many Indian producers have 
.'Also complained to us of inconvenience and finan njnl loss involved 

in carrying out changes which the certifying Boards insist upon 
After a film has been completed. On the other hand, the members of 
the Boards have also complained that very often they find their 
liands more or less tied because they are told that the film has been 
f produced at very great cost and is shown to them in its completed 
' form and they are, therefore, reluctant to advise changes which 
might mean a large number of retakes. Such changes cannot be 
-conveniently eflfected because most producers dismiss theif cast by 
the time the film is completed and would be unable to get them to- 
gether again; moreover the sets themselves would have been dis- 
mantled after the original shooting, and it would be very expensive 
to get them erected again. In certain instances, it is practically 
iilSpossible for the producer to carry out the changes even if he is 
prepared to do so, and the Board has been forced to refuse a certificate 
In a f^ other cases, the theme itself has been found so repugnant 
to the Board that there is no possibility of a certificate being wanted 
even if the film were modified, and the producer consequenuy has 
to suffer a heavy loss. The certifying Boards in some States have 
agreed to examine the synopsis bf any story that a producer might 
submit *0 them, and indicate whether it is likely to be objected to in 
tb^ ' ZJTfn of a film. As has been mentioned in another section of this 
report, such synopsis does not give any olear idea of the shots and 
^quences that would compose the film, and it has been the exper- 
lencfe of both the producers and of the Boards themselves, whew 
this method has been tried put, that prior scrutiny of the synop^ 
*4oes^no^lways rule out subsequent objections to the picture. 

^7. The ewt of a fllm.-^Having dealt with the scrutiny of 
methods employed in India in planning a picture and ikmipawdt 

them with American standards, we feel it would be, useful to study » 
what their methods mean to us in terms of rupees, annas and pies. 
With this end in view, we attempted to elicit through our question- 
naire some figures of the cost of producing an average feature film in 
different parts of the country. Only a few of the producers sent us 
the information we asked for. To supplement this information, we 
made inquiries of the producers who met us individually. The figures 
given to us indicate that, generally speaking, the total amount a 
producer spends on a film varies with the size of the market for 
which it caters. On a film in Hindi or in Tamil, which can command 
a circuit of several hundred theatres, the average producer usually 
spends much more than, for instance, on a film in Bengali or Marathi 
which have much smaller markets. If the film has a wide market, 
the producer does not hfesitate to spend one or two lakhs of rupees 
more, while if a picture has only restricted scope, he reduces his 
budget accordingly. But we find that in many parts of the country, 
the markets are co-existent; Gujarati films run in the same areas 
in which Hindi films are shown and so are Bengali films. Tamil or 
Telugu films are shown quite often in the same areas where pictures 
in Kannada or Malayajam, made on more modest budgets, are ex- 
hibited at the same time. If the cinema-goer patronises both the 
expensive pictures and the economical pictures to the extent 
possible and the seating capacity made available for each film per- 
mits, the excessive expenditure -claimed or actually incurred might, 
in some cases, be unnecessary and, perhaps, unjustified. 

258. We do not consider it in any way part of our functions to 
suggest how much«a. producer should spend on a picture, and our 
later recommendations for the reduction of expenditure refer only 
to those items which, in our opinion, can be cut without affecting the 
characteristics of the film. Recommendations for reducing ex- 
penditure must be based primarily on the economic factors which 
govern the industry, particularly its revenue resources. For its future 
prosperity, the industry must depend on the merit of its productions, 
and we wish only to point out that, in our view, as in the view of the 
public, high cost of production is not an index of the quality of pro- 
duction nor a criterion of its popularity. 

259. Heads of expenditure.— It would also be useful for the 
purpose of our inquiry to analyse the expenditure under its various 
heads with a view to seeing if economies could be effected without 
affecting the quality of the pictures. In this, we have been able to 
obtain from a number of producers particulars of the allocation of 
expenditure between various main heads. In the course of collection 
of oral evidence, we have also obtained information on this point 
from other producers. An analysis of these figures is given in 
Appendix Xvl. As the cost of production would differ in the case 
of studio-owners and independent producers, the analysis has been 
made separately for the two categories. Similarly, figures for the 
three production centres— Bombay, Madras and Calcutta— have 
been shown separately. The figures of total cost have not been in- 
dicated in the table, the class of picture to which the figures relate 
has been shown in the following manner:^ — 

Pictures costing between about Rs. 5.00,000 and Rs. 7,00,000 

_ ....A 

Pictures costing between about Rs. 3;00.000 and Rs. 4,50,000 


Pictures ctBting about Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs. 2,50,000 CJ 

7 M of IB— 7 

260. We have left out of account “super” productions costing much 
more than Rs. 7,00,000, as we think it would not be possible to apply 
any general principles or to draw any general inferences from their 
experience. A large proportion of the films produced in any year 
are intended for regional circulation and would come under cate- 
gory “C” above. A substantial number would fall within category “B” 
Quite a few would come within category “A”. The number of 
“super” productions in any year is small. 

261. Studio and production overheads. — It will be seen from the 
analysis that in the case of “B” and “C” pictures, which form the 
bulk of the output in any year, a large portion of the cost is on. 
account of overhead charges on running the studio. This may be 
incurred directly by the studio-owning producer, or paid as rent by 
the independent producer. In addition, there is the overhead cost 
of the producer’s own establishment. These two items together 
account for substantially 50 per cent of the total cost of the produc- 
tion, if we exclude the expenditure on the cast. Both these items 
of cost rise in direct proportion to the total time spent on the shoot- 
ing of a picture and we examine below the reasons for the high inci- 
dence of expenditure oq this account. 

262. During a shift of 8 hours, the total length of film shot aver- 
ages about 1,000 ft., of which the most suitable bits, running to some 
200 ft. or so, find place in the picture as released, the rest of the foot- 
age being rejected. A picture of 11,000 ft. requires, therefore, about 
50 shooting days. It is exceptional for more than two or three shoot- 
ing days to be fixed up in any week, and, as a result, a picture is 
completed only in six to nine months, or even more, after the com- 
mencement of the shooting. 

263. This big time-lag in production naturally increases the cost 
directly by higher overhead charges, and indirectly by mounting in- 
terest charges. Our questionnaire sought to elicit the reasons for 
this long spread-over of the production and inquired specifically 
whether delays were caused by (a) sets not being ready when 
required (b) “star” artistes not being available when needed, or 
(c) other reasons, to be stated. We analyse below the replies of 
thirty independent producers, who rent studio facilities, and who 
have answered our questions about production delays. 



Delay due to sets not being ready . 

. 20 


Delays duo to stars not being available 

• I® 


Delays due to other reasons 

. 8 


264. Economy of using more than one stage.— Even with the 
present practice of having only one camera-day per three or four 
working shifts in the studio, it has been possible for the existing 
studios in the country to handle most of the current productions. But 
if the shooting is to go on without delays, it is necessary that each 
producer (or production unit) should have mote than one stage at 


his disposal. From the information placed before us, the most eco- 
nomical arrangement would be for a producer to have three floors- 
at his disposal, and to produce two pictures concurrently. Even if. 
this is not possible because of the lack of capital, it seems more eco- 
nomical to book two stages and shorten the total time of production: 
than to book only one stage and wait till it is ready. We were in- 
formed that some independent producers have succeeded in reduc- 
ing production time by booking stages in different studios. - Whil^ 
this might help in effecting economies, the use of different sets of 
technicians may spoil the unity of treatment and it would be better 
if the entire picture were produced in one studio. 

265. Whether a studio is engaged in the production of pictures 
for the owner or is being rented out to independent producers, the 
cost of each camera-shift depends greatly on the number of the 
camera-shifts in a year that can be made available to the produc- 
tion unit. There is no doubt that elaborate sets may require a 
week’s preparation or more, but generally such sets are also used 
more or less unchanged, for shooting over a number of days. On the 
other hand, the simpler types of sets should be capable of being put 
together, finished and “dressed” in a day provided the organisation 
behind it is methodical. We feel that as an overall average for the 
industry it should be possible to provide, on each stage, twelve 
camera-shifts per month, without having more than one workman’s 
shift per day. 

266. In some of the studios that w'e visited, we saw the careful 
storage of set props and fittings, which had been indexed and some- 
times also photographed before being put away. In such studios, the 
time spent in getting a new set ready would obviously be much 
shorter than in the majority of cases, where used material is piled 
away wherever storage space is available, resulting in considerable 
waste of time and money. In one studio, which has three stages 
and was being run by the workers on a co-operative basis, we found 
that both workers and management were pleased with the fact that 
28 camera shifts could be provided in a month. Some of the method 
adopted in this studio could with advantage be followed in other 
studios for increasing the number of camera-shifts provided. Though 
their turnover figures compare favourably with those of many other 
studios, they do. not, in our view, represent the fullest use of the 
studio space available and should be capable of improvement 
perhaps by 40%. Proper organisation of all the studios should 
result in more camera-shifts and consequently in reduced cost per 
day. It would also enable each studio to render better service to the 
producers by providing camera-shifts more frequently. 

267. The amoQnt of screen-time that can be effectively shot during: 
a shift depends upon a number of factors. The present average ot 
tv'o minutes per shift can be considered satisfactory, v/ere it not for 
the numerous flaws to be found in the films as released. We feel 
that with careful planning of the picture before the shooting is 
commenced, it should be possible to maintain or even improve on 
the present rate of progress, while eliminating the faults that now 
pass as inevitable if the film is to be finished to schedule. It should 
be the responsibility of tha director to see that the stage is put to its 
proper use every minute of the time it is placed at his disposal. 


268. Delays due to “stars”,— The other major cause of delays in 
production is the difficulty of arranging the shooting of a picture to 
suit the convenience of the “stars”. The difficulty arises mainly 
bv^cause the same stars feature in a number of pictures which are in 
pi’oduction at the same time. An analysis of the specific replies to 
our question on this point is given below: — 

Delays due to stars not being available. 

Yes No 

Producers ownin^;! s’.ndios ... f5 1 

Independent producer ; ... 10 7 

Oral evidence tendered by producers indicates that the problem is 
even more serious than the above figures would indicate. 

269. We have examined elsewhere the effect of this practice on 
the quality of the films, but here we are concerned only with the 
resultant increase in costs. We have no doubt that it is a contributory 
factor for increasing the cost though the exact incidence varies with 
the goodwill and cordiality that prevails between the producer and 
director on one side and the stars on the other. 

270. Other items in production costs.— It will be noticed from 
Appendix XVI that expenditure on the cast, including stars, minor 
characters and extras, forms a very big part of the budget. We have 
heard the views of a number of producers on the possibility of reduc- 
ing the expenditure on “stars”. It is not possible to decide exactly 
how much a particular “star” is worth to a picture, for there is no 
basis for comparison. We feel, however, that expenditure on the cast 
is disproportionately high and that the bulk of the allotment is 
taken up by the fees paid to the “stars”. The result has been that 
expenditure on other items is often pared to the bone, sometimes 
deteriorating the picture, as happens, for instance, when processing 
is entrusted to a “cheap” laboratory or the services qf second-rate 
writers are engaged while the story really deserves the best talent 
in the landr We are examining elsewhere the merits of the “star” 
system and its effect on the industry. In connection with the costs of 
production, we would only- say that keen competition between pro- 
ducers usually results in forcing up the salaries of “box-office 
stars” higher than their pulling-power justifies, and when a few pie- 
ties featuring that particular star “flop” in a series, producers drop 
me star with even less justification. 

271. “Padding” of budgets and ^‘black” payments to artistes. — 
At this juncture we must refer to two factors which have been re- 
peatedly mentioned to us but which for obvious reasons we could 
not examine on any factual basis. The first is the question of pad- 
ding of film budgets. It has been brought to our notice that in some 
cases the actual expenditure on certain sections of film production 
'such as, for instance, payments to extras, expenditiure on travelling 
allowances, expenses on location, etc. is grossly inflated before being 
entered in the books of the producer. The reason for such inflated 
budgets is alleged to be not merely the desire of the producer to put 


away some money free of income-tax but also to find the money for 
making certain payments which could never find their way into his 
books. The most important of these is the payment of fees to stars 
much in excess of the sum contracted for. Producers who profess that 
they themselves never make such payments say, however, that 
others in their line have been called upon to pay suras which were 
twice or thrice the contracted fee to the aitistes. Another expendi- 
ture which the producer has to meet by such devious means is the 
payment of usurious interest to the financiers which some of them 
insist upon receiving in currency outside the terms of contract. 

272. It would be realised that tlie investigation of such matters 
would have taken the Committee outside their normal round and 
would further have involved them in investigation which would 
normally be the province of the income-tax authorities. Judging, 
however, by the frequent references to such items of “black” 
receipts and payments, it would appear that the evil is more wide- 
spread than is generally realised and deserves thorough investiga- 

273. Restriction on over-time employment. — Another factor which 
has been mentioned to us as a cause of increased cost of production 
is the restriction on over- time employment of workers which applies 
in certain States. It has been argued on behalf of the producers 
that work on a set has often to be done at a single stretch, and some- 
times, a break at the end of 8 hours results in more time being 
consumed than would have been necessary if they were permitted 
to work over-time. They say that work in a film-studio does not 
make that continuous demand on the worker as does, say, work in 
a cotton mill, and that quite often the workers are idle for several 
hours in each shift and, therefore, working over-time does not involve 
the same strain as in some other industries. The workers have said 
in reply that the studio employs no more men than they need, but 
shifted their ground to say that if the men were idle at any time, 
it was open to the management to put them on some other job, such 
as the making of props and fittings for use at some future time. The 
studio-owners informed us that they were planning to discuss the 
matter with the Inspector of Factories. We feel that this is a question 
of principle of some importance and must bp examined more closely. 

274. The cause of delays which has figured next in order of 
frequency is the shortage of raw films, chemicals, etc. We feel 
strongly about the continuance of such shortages from time to time, 
with consequent increase in costs of production. It is our view that 
in the case of such industrial raw materials, it is irrational to compel 
economies in consumption by creating shortages, as these cannot 
really reduce demand, and can at best defer it by a few months. The 
logical method would be (a) to improve tiie methods of production 
in order to avoid waste; and (b) to restrict the output of the industry, 
if it is considered necessary to cut consumption at all costs. We are 
making OUT recommendations on both- these aspects and confidently 
hope mat when they have been implemented, the consumption of 
raw materials would be reduced to the quantities required for main- 
taining the indvistry in heetlthy condition. We wish to emphasise 
also that sullies of raw materials should be kept up at all times with 
due regard to the rate of consumption. 


275. There is much loose talk about “production values” and their 
contribution to boxnjffice success. Judging from what is published 
in film journals, there is not much unanimity about what constitutes 
such values. We find, instead that there is quite a lot of expenditure 
on items that add little to the quality or effectiveness of a picture, 
though they may help to inflate the ego of the producer or the techni- 
cians concerned. 

276. Optimum volume of production.— With about 3,250 theatres 
in the country, the earnings of the industry are estimated at about 
Rs. 20 crores after deducting the entertainment tax. Half of this 
revenue goes to the exhibitors and the share of the producers and 
distributors comes to Rs. 10 crores. Distribution expenses work out 
at about 10 per cent, and a fair profit for the distributors would be 
10 per cent, on their turnover. The net revenue of the producers 
would, therefore, amount to Rs. 8 crores. With the current produc- 
tion of 275 pictures per year, the Producer’s share of the average 
picture would be less than Rs. 3 lakhs. It may seem possible to cover 
costs even at this figure but averages do not really signify much in 
such a context, where few production units are large enough to bene- 
fit by the law of averages. There is no doubt that costs of production 
have already risen to a high level and that they are bound to rise 
further. We are discussing elsewhere the possibilities of expanding 
the revenues. But it seems to us essential to find out ways and means 
to eliminate the production of useless pictures which have not the 
slightest possibility of being certified for exhibition or of being 
screened successfully. On this point, the industry appears to be in 
unanimous agreement. The evidence before us, while stressing the 
need for increasing the revenues, emphasises that film production in 
the country should be kept down to figures commensurate with the 
earnings, though there has been an understandable hesitation or 
reluctance to suggest the means by which this reduction is to be 
brought about. According to the estimates of the leaders of the 
industry, at least half the films turned out each year have failed to 
return to the producer even the amount invested, and about 30 per 
cent, more can be termed neither winners nor losers since the returns 
in this case are just sufficient to recover the cost of production. It 
seems to us likely that if, the existing state of affairs in the industry 
continues further, the high proportion of failures will inevitably rise 

„ still further. 

277. On the figures of annual output which the exhibition 
revenues can support, there has been divergence of gpinion, and 
iinne suggestions were as low as 150 films per year. We feel that 
this would not meet the regional requirements in addition to the 
demand for Hindi films, and we cannot accept the suggestion that 
has been made that films should be produced only in Hindi. We feel 
that it would be adequate if the total production is round about 200 
Rims per year. An average revenue of Rs. 4 lakhs or more per picture 
could ensure a satisfactory return for every deserving production, 
keeping in mind the fact that quick release facilities are restricted 
because of the overall shortage of theatres in relation to the films 
available each year. The scheme adopted for rationalising the out- 
put should obviously be so devised as to eliminate the least fit, and 

. to retain in the industry those production units the output of Which 


has shown survival value. The actual method to be adopted to 
achieve this end is being discussed later in our recommendations. 

278. Working capital for production. — ^The following calculations 
are, however, based on the present output of the film industry, valued 
at Rs. 8 crores, and do not take into account the reduction in output 
that we have suggested above, or the effect of saving in production 
oosts as a result of other measures we have proposed. 

279. Turnover of capital. — With efficient planning, the total length 
of time spent on the actual shooting of most pictures should not 
exceed four months, exceptional cases being allowed five months. 
Polishing up the picture and securing certificate from the Board, 
usually take about a month or two more, so that the picture can be 
got ready for the screen in five to six months from the commence- 
ment of the shooting. This result can follow only with the adoption 
of the measures we have suggested for reducing the time spent on 
pi’oduction. The working capital required for the production sector 
need not be more than Rs. 3 crores, if the money is recovered by 
transfer of the picture to distributors immediately on completion at 
the end of five months. At present, however, owing to lack of ade- 
quate planning and paper work before shooting is started and because 
of the dilatory methods of work that are prevalent in the industry, 
it is not uncommon for pictures to take six to eight months for shoot- 
ing and even one year to complete. Production is completed as a 
rule only after 8 months from the start of the shooting; the capital 
locked up in the production sector is double, i.e., Rs. 5 crores, and 
on the basis of completion in one year, a sum of Rs. 8 crores would 
be needed. It will be realised from these figures how important it is 
to plan for a quick turn-over of the capital by maximising the use of 
time, talent and money if the industry is not to be crippled by the 
ever-present shortage of financial resources. 

280. Usage factor of capital. — Because of the fact that the entire 
amount to be spent on a picture would not be needed right from the 
outset, it would be possible to manage with funds made available as 
production goes on. A substantial proportion will, -however, have 
to be expended at the outset on items like advance to artistes, and 
only the balance can be spread out over the period. It has not been 
possible for us to work out the effective usage factor of the working 
capital, but from the information that we have been able to gather 
regarding terms of payment for artistes, extras, raw-film, laboratory 
charges, studio-hire, etc., we would put it at 60 per cent. Therefore, 
if it can be assumed that working capital would be forthcoming (as 
from a bank) on demand and according to the needs of the industry, 
it might be possible to manage with 60 per cent, of the figures men- 
tioned above, i.e., Rs. 2 crores for rapid turnover in 5 to 6 months, 
and Rs. 3 crores for turnover in 8 months. 

281. It will be seen that if the requirements of the industry with 
regard to working capital are to be kept down to the minimum, funds 
must be available as short-term advances which are returned to the 
common pool when each production is complete, to be made avail- 
able again to the same or other producers. But it is essential that 
•eaeh producer is assured of tiie availability of funds for the entire 
picture even before he starts shooting the first scene, ^d there must 
^lisQ bs the general confidence that if the plans for his next picture 

are promising, he would have no more difficulty in securing the 
necessary fimds. Neither of these two requirements is met by the 
present methods of financing by short-term bills or loans. 

282. A serious defect in the present set up is that the working 
capital now available to the producers is almost totally loan capital 
whether from distributors or from other financiers and any general 
recession in trade or slight set-back to the industry may result in 
serious reduction in the resources available. It is this factor which 
keeps the industry in a constant state of nervousness. It is not so 
much that they need more capital than they can command today, 
but that they cannot count upon the continuity of their present 
sources of finance. 

283. Financing rates.— Another defect in the financing of produc- 
tion today is the high rate of interest charged. At present loans are 
being obtained at rates as high as 60 to 100 per cent, per ann um , 
Interest is not paid directly at this rate, but is usually confined to 
the legitimate figure of 6 per cent, or 9 per cent. The lenders, how- 
ever, charge a “royalty” of not less than 10 per cent, on the amount 
lent, and very often the loan is for a short period of three or six 
months, the royalty having to be paid again each time the loan is 
renewed. Royalty and interest are deducted in advance, dh each 
occasion of renewal, making, the actual rate of interest very high. 
The total amount paid within a year for the use of the capital thus 
adds up to an usurious figure. It is inevitable that with such high 
rates of interest prevailing in the industry, a very large number of 
producers should fail to cover their costs and consequently be unable 
to raise the funds necessary for continuing in business. Apart from 
other reasons such as the lack of talent and experience of the pro- 
ducers (or the mixed motives which have been ascribed to certain 
persons who undertake film production) there can be no doubt that 
heavy interest charges have been the direct cause of many producers 
prematurely retiring from the industry. This process of eliminating 
a number of producers each year cannot be considered an altogether 
desirable feature of the industry. While a few of them nourish 
always the hope that some day they would come back and recoup all 
their earlier losses, many of them drop out for ever and whatever 
experience they may have gathered is lost to the industry. On the 
other hand, the entry of new-comers without sound appreciation of 
its economics has the effect of upsetting normal development; they 
often grossly overpay the artistes and technicians and even boost up 
interest rates in the market. In the end the public suffers from a 
number of bad films, and there is considerable wastage of capital, 
man power and imported materials on the production of films which 
should never have been started. 

284. The consequences of difficulties in financing. — Indian pro- 
ducers today fall under two main groups, (a) studio-owners who 
generally turn out “A” or “B” productions on their own account, but, 
working on a smaller scale than indicated above, make up a part of 
their overhead by renting out the studios when not needM for their 
own productions and (b) “independents” who are engaged in the 
production of “B” and “C” pictures more or less on a casual basis, 
employing staff for each production and disbanding it when the film 
is completed. Where the producer is short of capital he feels a <^ntl-' 
nuous pressure for realising quickly the investment Oin each film^ 


usually by persuading distributors to make him an advance payment 
secured by the returns on the films, or to guarantee a minimum 
return, which is paid over to him in part or whole when he transfers, 
the completed film to the distributors. The ultimate necessity of 
having to sell the picture more or less under duress affects also the 
quality of the films. The producer tends to concentrate on the parti- 
cular aspects of the picture which would appeal to the distributors 
and help in securing a quick sale or a good price. We are sure that 
distributors themselves will be the first to agree that the factors 
which they look for before concluding an arrangement are not sure 
indices of the ultimate success of the film. The very large number 
of “flops” turned out under this system of production is ample justi- 
fication of this conclusion. Even if the picture is not planned pri- 
marily with a view to pleasing prospective purchasers, once the 
negotiations are complete, the producer loses further interest in the 
production, and pictures which start off well sometimes end very 
badly. The transfer of rights takes place at a time when the bargain- 
ing power of the seller is low. Ke needs funds urgently, whether to 
pay off creditors from whom he has borrowed at usurious rates, or 
as working capital for continuing in business. Conditions are, there- 
fore, weighed in favour of the distributor who buys the picture and 
the terms of transfer are usually such that the producer has little 
hope of any further revenue from the picture. He usually accepts 
a lump sum and parts with all rights, or even if he is promised a 
share in revenues, if they exceed a certain sum, the bulk of the profits 
go to the distributor, and his co-sharer in business, the exhibitor. 
This produces a natural reaction in the producer. If he sees the 
picture is bringing in large profits to the distributors and exhibitors, 
he feels embittered, particularly if he has sold it at a loss, and is 
often tempted to borrow at such fantastic rates of interest for his 
next picture, that even if it is good, it can rarely pay the ruinous 

285. Joint stock companies. — The question may be asked why 
producers do not secure the capital they require by floating joint- 
stock companies in which the public could participate, instead of 
depending on loans from money-lenders cr on advances from distri- 
butors. The reason for the reluctance of producers to adopt this, 
course appears to be two-fold. The first is the fear that if the contri- 
bution from outside is substantially larger than their own, they 
might gradually be forced out of the controlling position in the 
undertaking. This has, no doubt, happened in the case of a number 
of industrial undertakings in this country and elsewhere, and some- 
times even the old device of long-term managing agency contracts 
has not enabled the original promoters of the undertaking to retain 
control over it. It may be stated that the investors would naturally 
be anxious to retain the services of the original founders as long as 
they have something of value to contribute to the undertaking and 
that the promoters need not fear displacement unless they have 
proved themselves no longer useful. (This argument would not carry 
much weight with those producers who are aware they are not fit 
for the task.) We feel, however, that this risk has not prevented the 
floating of joint-stock companies for a number of other industrial 
enteii>rises, and there is no reason why it should act as a deterrent 
in this particular industry. In any case, this particular attitude of 


promoters does not deserve special consideration. The other reason 
lor the unwillingness to float joint-stock companies is the desire that 
when large profits are earned, they should be able to retain them 
instead of distributing them to the share-holders. An idea of the 

S " s expected may be obtained from the rates at which they raise 
for production. 

286. But the main obstacle might not be so much the industry's 
unwillingness itself to go shares with the public, as doubts of She ' 

public in the managerial ability available to the industry. Publicity 
men of the film industry have been trying for years to impress the 
public with stories of the sums lavished -on this star or that, or on 
securing a degree of “authenticity” in which the public is not * 

interested. It is not easy to induce the man in the street to entrust 
his small savings to people who have taken pains to create the impres- 
sion that they are extravagant. The glamour that the film industry 
has created around itself may prove a handicap in the stock 

287. Block account and stock-in-trade.— There is one other diffi- 
culty in the way of financing film production by the issue of shares. 

When a joint-stock company is floated to take over an existing factory 
or mill or to start a new one, the investors in the shares of the com- 
pany have the confidence that the bulk of the capital they invest 
in it would go towards the acquisition of capital assets in the form of 
buildings, machinery or other production equipment. In the case of 
the film industry, the position is quite different, and most producers 
require finance only for use as working capital. The fixed assets are 
provided by the studio where the film is to be shot, and even if it is 
owned by the producer himself, the proportion of block account to 
working capital would be very small. For instance, a studio with 
fixed assets costing about six lakhs of rupees may require more than 
twentyfive lakhs of rupees to finance continuous production of films 
therein. Further, the average producer in India has no other special 
assets or stock-in-trade to which he can draw attention when calling 
for capital from the market. Film producers in the United States, 
for instance, would acquire the screen rights in a number of stories 
and also enter into long-term contracts with stars which provide 
that they would act exclusively for a particular concern, before they 
attempt to raise capital in the market. They would at least secure 
options on such trading assets even where they could not pay for 
them in full, and the market would be in a position to count on the 
value of such options. In India, very few producers have got 
resources available in the form of stories or in the form of exclusive 
call on the services of actors and actresses. The result is that in *■ 

.almost every case, the producer who asks the public or the bankers 
to lend him money, can offer nothing that could be considered 
security against the advance. All that he can offer is his own con- 
fidence in the undertaking and perhaps his standing and skill and * 

personal services for what they are worth. While in some cases 
these may be good enough to ensime the success of the undertaking, 
they might not be considered good enough security for investment 
on a scale which the industry requires today. 

288. Spread of market risks.— The film industry, more than any 
other perhaps, has to face the risk of changes in public preferences. 

It is not merely the possibility that a film which succeeds in one area 
joi Qity might fail in another, but that a film may prove unsuccessful • 

everywhere, while another which, at least to the producers, looked 
exactly similar, might prove a success. We have already pointed out 
that the most efficient way of cutting down costs is to engage in 
production on a continuous basis. Such large-scale production would 
also be the best security against the risks of any particular film 
^‘flopping” for reasons beyond the control of the producers. If the 
box office risk is distributed over a wide variety of pictures, the 
profits on the total investment would be better secured. This risk 
is not peculiar to India, and is being faced by the film industry in 
other countries. It is, however, greater in India for the reason that 
production is distributed over hundreds of units and few of them can 
acquire the large-scale knowledge of the public that can help even 
in a small degree to guard against continued losses. In the U.S.A., 
each of the “majors” engaged in film production turns out from 20 to 
40 pictures per ^ear, and the pictures themselves are planned so as 
to distribute the risk of changes in the tastes of the public. Such 
“insurance of profits” within the industry would obviously work out 
cheaper than asking money-lenders or bankers to shoulder the risk. 
They cannot even approximately gauge the risks involved, and as 
prudent financiers, would charge heavily for covering them. It 
seems to us essential that the scale of production of each unit would 
have to be increased before it can at all become sufficiently attractive 
for the raising of capital in the share-market. Production methods 
would need to be rationalised and all the units in the industry should 
also get used to the idea of co-operative action and rid themselves 
of mutual distrust. If the men of the industry address themselves 
.to the task, with true business instincts and in a spirit of co-operation 
and genuine desire to set their house in order, it would be possible 
sooner than most people expect, to create conditions wherein groups 
of independents might combine into larger units which can command 
their own studio facilities, or enter into long-term arrangements 
with, studio-owning producers for co-operative use of facilities. When 
uneconomic units have been eliminated or have dropped out of the 
business, and others with greater staying power have sufficiently 
built up their strength, we expect it would be possible to raise the 
necessary finances directly from the investment market and thus 
make the industry independent of the loan capital. 

289, Financing by scheduled banks.— It has been repeatedly 
suggested to us that the Reserve Bank of India’s instructions to 
Scheduled Banks for their conduct of business should be so revised 
as to enable them to advance money to film producers. The basic 
principles underlying these instructions are that the sums, which 
are generally on short call with the Banks, should be invested in 
enterprises from which it would not be difficult to recover the 
advances in times of emergency or crisis. Enough has been said 
earlier to show that investment in a film is not- of such a nature; 
the normal period of exploitation of a film varies from two to three 
years and in a forced sale, a film rarely fetches any large proportion 
of its market value. We cannot, therefore, support this suggestion 
as a possible' solution of the problem of financing the film industry. 

290. PlougMng In the profits.— A complaint frequently made 
against Indian producers is that they withdraw from the business 
all the profits they have made from time to time and prefer to 
continue with their productions on a hand-to-mouth basis rather 


than invest in the industry, in some form or other, the profits that 
they have made earlier. There is jrossibly some truth in this com- 
plaint, since the number of established producers who have sub- 
stantial investments in the industry is not very large. But it must 
also be borne in mind that many of them have lost heavily by the 
production of unsuccessful pictures and their operations have often 
been or# such a small scale, and taken in conjunction with their 
general policy in the matter of productions, there is little possibility 
of their having large savings. Nevertheless, some capital keeps on 
coming back in some form or other. The stars have ambitions to 
be producers; distributors command a chain of cinemas and the 
money secured from the exhibition side of the industry is used for 
investment in the industry. The financier becomes a producer and 
vice versa. Combination of financing, distribution and production 
in the same person or concern and connected concerns is not un- 
common. We have no doubt that except for most of the money that 
is collected by the exhibitors as their net return, a substantial pro- 
portion of earnings of the industry is used in the industry itself. It 
is these ambitions, combinations and the glamour of the film busi- 
ness that account for the apparent continued flow of capital into 
the industry despite the failure of a majority of productions to 
yield dividends. 

291. Film finance in the l).S.A. — We may now examine the 
methods of finance that have been found workable in other important 
film producing countries. In the United States, the bulk of produc- 
tion is carried on by less than ten major producing concerns which, 
in addition to the assets they have built up over a long period, have 
also extensive holdings in exhibition theatres. The latter parti- 
cularly represent quickly saleable assets. The proportion of work- 
ing capital which the firms need for the production of filnis is not 
very high in comparison with the value of their assets, as it would 
be in the case of an Indian producer. The United States have also 
a number of independent film producers, who have from time to 
time been financed by banks on the West Coast. Even in these 
cases, the advance has been covered principally by collateral 
security offered by the producers and in addition, the banks, parti- 
cularly one bank which has specialised in this kind of finance, 
scrutinises the other “properties” of the producer including his 
rights in stories and contracts with artists. The proportion of such 
bank advances to the total working capital of the industry woidd, 
however, be very small. There is also at least one co-operative 
distributing organisation which provides some financial help to 
independent producers and undertakes the marketing of the films, 
but its contribution to financing is also comparatively insignificant 
in volume. 

292. Film finance in the U.K.— In the U.K., the biggest produc- 
tion organisation has also extensive theatre properties, and depends 
for the bulk of its working capital on advances from the banks. 
The majority of independent producers have until recently been 
dependent solely upon financing by distributors. This system has 
not functioned very well, because the distributors preferred to 
invest their funds in imported pictures, which brought them better 
returns with lesser risk, to financing local producers. The influence 
of distributors* preferences on the films produced, that we have 

, 101 

referred to earlier with reference to Indian conditions have been 
noticed and criticised in the United Kingdom too. Independent 
producers found conditions so difficult that they were forced to 
appeal to the Government for assistance. 

293. Financing of production by exhibition interests.— The bulk 
of the investments in the film industry abroad has more often been 
made by theatre owners who have undertaken production with their 
accumulated profits of exhibition rather than by producers who have 
acquired theatres as outlets for their products. Further, it is very 
doubtful whether the building up of combines in the industry, 
combining production, distribution and exhibition, would really be 
in the interests of the public. A recent judgment of the Supreme 
Court in the United States ordered the big Hollywood combines to 
divest themselves of their theatre properties. In the United Kingdom 
the biggest cinema circuit, which is associated also with the largest 
producing concerns, has recently threatened to close down its pro- 
duction activities, since it found that exhibition could always be 
made to pay, while production could not. In the circumstances, the 
possibility that the Indian industry could be directly financed out 
of the profits of exhibition carried on by the same concerns or that 
the producers should acquire capital assets in the form of cinema 
theatres, which in turn could be used as security for advances of 
working capital, might, we feel, be left out of consideration. 

294. Hie Indian problem, — We are inevitably led to the conclu- 
sion that some other means must be found for financing film produc- 
.tion in India. It is not so much a question of finding additional 
capital beyond what is already available to producers (though on 
' very hard terms), as a question of making the flow of capital from 
the source to the industry continuous, comparatively easy 
smooth. It is for this purpose that the industry has been pleading c 
for the establishment of a Film Finance Corporation. The analogy 
has also been quoted, of the Film Finance Corporation established 
in the U.K. in order to help independent producers whose resources 
of capital were not sufficient to keep them going. Without in any 
way committing ourselves at this stage to the establishment of such 
an institution, we feel that the suggestion deserves close- considera- 
tion, if for nothing else, at least because of the almost universal 
acceptance it has received from different categories of witnesses 
who have appeared before us. We also feel that we should here 
refer to some other relevant and useful considerations which occur 
to us in the same connection either as corollary to or prerequisite 
of the establishment of such an institution. 

295. Supervision of production a prerequisite.— In view of the 
evidence’ placed before us, we are convinced that, if, such a Corpo- 
ration is to work successfully, it is essential to exercise supervision 
not merely over the productions for which advances would be made. 
In order to ensure the repayment of the advances, but also to bring 
Some sort of order and rationalisation in the industry. Earlier, we 
have referred to evidence that in the present circumstances of un- 
limited competitive production and earnings limited by the number 
of ffieatres, if not by the spending power of the population, it 
appears inevitable that a certain amount of the capital invested In 
eadi year should be lost totally. The share of the produrtion 
industry in the revenues cannot justify the investment of woriong 


capital on the present scale, and we would consider it inadvisable 
to form a Corporation to finance an industry which must face an 
inevitable deficit at the end of every year. The industry's reply to 
this point has been that the revenue should be boosted by sub- 
stantial reductions in the entertainment tax. The question is whether 
this is a dependable hypothesis and, if so, its possibilities are being 
examined separately under that head, but we must say here that 
since the present deficit condition of the industry has not been 
shown to be due to any factors beyond its control but on the other 
hand is demonstrably due to factors within remedy by the industry 
itself or to the intrinsic constitution, organisation and prevailing 
conditions in the industry itself, we should first seek measures to 
put it on a paying basis before we would be justified in looking for 
expansion of its revenues at the cost of the public exchequer. Even 
If the revenues of the industry were expanded by this means, we 
see every likelihood that the present chaotic condition would 
swallow up the additional revenue also and the industry would be 
where it is today. It would, therefore, be a criminal waste of public 
funds if a Corporation were established merely to bolster up the 
present unsatisfactory conditions in the industry or to give an added 
lease of life to the present number of incompetent producers or 
uneconomic productions. 

296. It has been argued that one of the reasons for the failure 
of several producers to make both ends meet is the high rate of 
interest they have to pay, and that if finance is available on reason- 
able terms, the industry should be stabilised. While the heavy 
interest charges may have been a contributory rea.son for failure, 
the evidence before us shows that the return from the majority of" 
the productions fails not merely to cover the interest on loans but 
even a substantial proportion of the capital itself. Nor is this posi- 
tion due solely to over-production. In the usual sense of the word, 
over-production means that the goods turned out in excess of the 
consumption capacity of the market would fail to yield a retura 
for the producers. At present it is the bulk of the output that fails 
to yield such returns and not merely the marginal excess. This, in 
our opinion, is due largely to the poor quality of the films produced. 

297. Need and machinery for regulation of production.— In our 
view, any arrangement for corporate finance cannot be disassociated 
with greater control over the production side of the industry. The 
fluid* and uncertain nature of the securities would alone require 
the exploration of every avenue to ensure that the element of risk 
is reduced to the minimum. This logically involves a complete 
satisfaction in the corporate authority that the picture collects in 
and around it all elements which will make it a box-office success 
without at the same time sacrificing the canons of propriety and 
good taste. From this point of. view we feel that there would be 
no escape from a Production Code Administration where all scripts 
will be scrutinised before shooting is commenced. This Adminis- 
tration would have to be assisted by a Reference Bureau which 
could help producers with information about stories, actors and 
actresses, background, material, etc,, which would serve not merely 
to exclude objectionable material but also to improve the quality 
of films. There is no doubt that the establishment of the Adminis- 
tration and the Bureau would have to be closely linked with the 
proposed Corporation. They need not be mere adjuncts of ^ 

^ f 


Corporation; they can be independent bodies, but with a repre- 
sentative of the Corporation in the Production Code Administration. 
AKJroval of the Administration w'ould automatically qualify a pro- 
jected production for financial assistance: thereafter, it would be for 
the Corporation to consider the question of actual financial aid on 
financial merits. As far as it is possible for us to visualise, the 
Administration would have to be clothed with the same authority 
and assigned the same functions as its counterpart in America. 

298. Assuming that such an organisation would first be set up in 
order to guide and rationalise production and thereby facilitate the 
functioning of the Corporation, the next point for consideration is 
the amount of capital required for financing the industry and the 
extent to which the Film Finance Corporation should be expected 
to provide it. 

299. In Chapter II, we have expressed the view that the amount 
of capital invested today in the production of films is about three 
crores of rupees. This figure has been arrived at on the basis of (a) 
275 films being produced each year, (b) the average film taking 8 
months to finish, counting from the date shooting is commenced, 

(c) the usage factor of the capital being about 60 per cent, and 

(d) the average cost of a film being about Rs. 3J lakhs. Earlier in this 
Chapter, we have indicated the reasons why the production time 
should be halved and also the means to be adopted for achieving 
this end. The cutting down of production time would propor- 
tionately reduce also the working capital required quite apart from 
the savings on each film following the quicker turnover of capital. 
We have also indicated that an annual production of 200 films would 
be enough to meet the requirements of the existing theatres but 
even if the output is not limited to this figure, on the basis of an 
average cost of 3i lakhs of rupees per film and producjjion within 
a period of five months, the financial resources needed w’ould be less 
than 2 crores of rupees. We think that the capital of the Corpora- 
tion should be one crore of rupees and it should have the power 
to borrow upto one crore in addition. 

300. The effect of putting a check on futile productions and of 
speeding up the turnover might by itself prove so deflationary 
that producers would normally find much less difficulty in borrowing 
the funds they require. It is probable, however, that human 
cupidity, mutual jealousies and competition from individual finan- 
ciers and producers attracted by the lure of quick and substantial 
profits will counteract this deflationary tendency. We feel, there- 
fore, that the Corporation should aim at providing the entire 
capital required for production. Many of the money-lenders now 
financing the production of films will, we expect, withdraw from 
this line, if the possibility of lending on fantastic terms does not 
exist any longer, and financing by distributors would also be 
reduced if producers can get assistance elsewhere on better terms. 
To the extent to which distributors have been financing production, 
they should be able to release their capital and utilise it solely for 
the distribution and exhibition. This would automatically, there- 
fore, result in making the moneylender much less in demand than 


301. The Film Finance Corporation in the U.K. has been going 
to the assistance of independents. In India it will be necessary for 
the Corporation to assist also the studio-owning producers, who g^^ 
rally find themselves handicapped by lack of working capi^, 
'Since the bulk of their resources is invested in the form of studio 
premises, equipment and similar capital assets. It is for this reason 
as well that we have suggested that the resources of the Corpora- 
tion should aim at meeting the entire capital requirements of the 

302. Distribution excluded from finance proposal.— The possi- 
bility that we have suggested above of finance being made avail- 
able only for production, and of distribution being handled through 
the present methods of finance is different from the method adopted 

> by the Film Finance Corporation in the United Kingdom where 
advances to producers are not recalled when production is com- 
plete, and producers are permitted to repay gradually as the 
returns come in from the exhibition of the picture. We envisage 
the adoption of a different procedure here because we feel that the 
capital so far available for distribution has been adequate, and 
further, the percentage of distributors working with loan capital 
•does not seem to be high. In other words, the persons and firms 
now handling distribution are equipped with sufficient resources or 
they are able to secure necessary funds by taking advances from 
exhibitors and are not in need of outside help. A small percentage 
of films are handled by the distributors for and on behalf of those 
producers who have adequate finance for the purpose. We do not 
see any reason for increasing the number of films thus distributed 
at a time when production capital is in such short supply. The Film 
Finance Corporation in the U.K. started with a capital of £5,000,000 
advanced by the Board of Trade, but after two years of working, 
the Corporation has found that, while it has lent out practically all 
the capital available to it, the returns from the industry have not 
covered even a small percentage of the advances, and the Corpora- 
tion finds it difficult to continue its activities unless the returns are 
speeded up or alternatively the Board of Trade finds more capital. 
The general merits of combining production and distribution are 
discussed later, but for the present we shall proceed on the assump- 
tion that these two aspects of the industry can continue to be 
separate. It might be argued that this would place the Corporation- 
financed production at the mercy of the bargaining ability of the 
distributors and the producers’ dependence on the latter would still 
remain. We realise the force of this argument but we feel that, 
at least to start with, the separate system of distribution should be 
given a trial. It would always be open to the Corporation to float 
a Distributing Concern to ensure that producers financed by it are 
not exploited by distributors, but we feel that the less the proposed 
■Corporation disturbs the normal trade channels, the better. 

303. Suggestions for raising capital.— The main points to be con- 
sidered in connection with the establishment of a Film Finance 
Corporation are the sources from which the necessary capital is to 
be raised and the terms on which finance is to be made available 
to producers. The various suggestions that have been made to us 
are that the State should subscribe the capital, that a certain pro- 
portion of the profits of. the producers should be compulsorily invest- 
ed in the Finance Corporation, that a levy should be made on the 


tntire output of the industry and on foreign films imported into" 
the country, that an additional surcharge should be levied on the 
prices of admission, that a portion of the entertainment tax should 
be diverted for the purpose, and so on. We do not think that in the 
ease of such an institution for the film industry as in the case of the 
Industrial Finance Corporation, Government can escape their share 
of obligation. How much that share would be is a matter for 
prudent assessment. -Leaving aside,«^or the present the question of 
tbe contribution of the State to the capital of the Corporation, we 
diaU examine the other suggestions one by one. 

304. The proposal that a certain percentage of the profits earned 
by producers should be invested in the Corporation does not appear 
to us to be practicable, if the intention Is to cover also those pro- 
ducers who do not apply for loans from the Corporation. The 
Corporation would, no doubt, scrutinise the past accounts of appU-. 
cants for loans and, if it.finds that they have withdrawn in the past 
)}ie bulk of the profits they have made from the industry, it could, 
no doubt, refuse to grant them loans. But to compel others to lend 
to the producers in need would appear not merely without precedent, 
but also in^uitable. The levy of a surcharge on the output of the 
industry will not, in our view, provide sufficient finance unless the 
fate of the levy is made very high. The footage of Indian feature 
films released in each year in this country is roughly three lakhs and 
though the footage of foreign films would also approximate to this 
figure, their earning capacity is less than 10 per cent, of the total. 
No surcharge on this footage can provide funds on the required scale 
without becoming an intolerable burden to the industry. The sugges- 
tion that the finance should come from the consumers themselves 
^ther in the form of a surcharge on the tickets or from a share in the 
entertainment tax appears to be a possible means of securing some of 
the finance on the scale required. 

305. As regards the terms on which advances should be made 
to producers, all the witnesses who appeared before us, whether 
from the production or distribution sectors of the industry or from 
outside, have agreed that in each case the details of the proposal 
including the full shooting script, lyrics, particulars of the cast, etc., 
should be scrutinised by a body of experts, the suggestion generally 
being that such a body should be attached to the Film Finance 
Corporation. As we have already mentioned, we consider the estab- 
^hment of a Production Code Administration an indispensable 
condition for the future progress of the industry and we feel that 
Instead of establishing a separate body for the purposes of advising 
it the Finance Corporation should take advice from its representa- 
tive attached to the Production Code Administration, 

306. Another suggestion is that the producer should also be able 
to find a distributor to underwrite the loan. We do not consider 
that this would help the working of the Corporation. It would, 
in all probability, extend the present practice of making films fit 

with the pre-conceived notions of the distributors. The distri* 
button possibilities of the film, however, would have to be examined 
befbre a loan is made. 

307. It has been suggested by some witnesses that the producer 
should himself contribute a large part of the total, estimated cost 
«t the film. This, we agree, is a very necessary precaution, and ii 



'‘night be thought prudent to require that at least one-fourth of th# 
budget should be contributed by the producer. Sucn a rule wouldi 
no doubt, place difficulties in the way of a few deserving produceri 
‘who might have nothing more to oiler except a very good stoif 
with a reasonable prospect of success. We feel, however, that jl a 
essential that the wlioie scheme should not merely be workable in 
‘Uie immediate future but should continue to work for a long period 
in order to help the industry find its own feel. and. for this reason, 
it would be necessary to insist that there should be no exception to 
the rule that tne producer should find one fourth of the capital 
required. At the time an applkation is made, satisfactory evidencf 
that the applicant can find tnis amount on his own. should be fur« 
lushed, and the amount should be deposited with the Corporation 
St the time the’ application is granted. The amount should be with* 
drawn only when found necessary after the Corporation is satished 
that the expenditure of its advance has been satisfactorily accounted 
for. The amount of unaccounted advances should not exceed ths 

308. Oistrlbatlon of films. — ^All stories accepted by the Corpora* 
tlon for financing would have to be made available to distributurg 
lor examination, and when the picture is complete, they should bn 
permitted to make their bids for the distribution rights. The negu* 
tiations with the distributoi's should be carried on by the producef 
under the supervision and subject to the approval of the Corpora* 
Iton. We feel that such a system of competitive bidding is likely ifi 
place the producer and the Corporation, in a better bargaining post* 
tion. and enable them to secure more favourable terms. Thes* 
terms should specify that the entire amount of the loan from the Cor* 
poration should be repaid to them as soon as the completed copies am 
delivered to the distributor, and the competitive bidding should bn 
with regard to the other conditions, i.e.. repayment of the 25 per cen^ 
of capital invested by the producer and the sharing of the pro* 
fits between the producer and the distributor. 

309. Financing distribution.— Many of the suggestions placed 
before the Committee were to the effect that the lending resourced 
of the Finance Corporation should amount to Rs. 5 crores. Wn 
believe Uiat tiie reasons for suggesting this comparatively hi gb 
figure are (a) the fact that at present production is extremely 

and a much larger amount of capital is required than would o« 
strictly necessary, and (b) the apparent desire of some producerd 
that they should be more or less in a position to retain the ownershig 
of the pictures till they have recovered their investment and a sub* 
stantial profit thereon. As regards the first reason, we cannot sym* 
pathise with the demands for capital which are based on the assump* 
Uon that no improvement is possible on current production methods^ 
As for the latter, we are aware that under present conditions, thd 
producer is able to get a higher return from his pictures, if he had 
sufficient capital to keep hismelf going in business w'hile his pictured 
are exhibited and his investment is returned to him. But if eadi 
DToducer is to be able to retain entire rights in his pictures till it id 
hiUy exploited, the requirements of capital would very mucll 
higher than if distribution is pooled and handled by a different 
sector of the industry. This is because of the larger number of pro* 
ducdon units in the country. If, ultimately, the bulk of the produfv 
Mon is hancUed by a reastmable number of major units in thd 


industry, the production and distribution of Alms can be comMnMl 
but for the present, they will have' to be kept separate if our capital 
resources are not to be strained, 

310. The point would, perhaps, be clearer if we take a typical 
case of present day producer, who turns out one Aim a year. When 
the Finance Corporation is functioning, he would need, for starting 
on an average feature him, Rs. 80.000 of his own. The Corporation 
will advance him a further Rs. 2.40,000 to enable him complete thg 
picture. If he finishes the picture to schedule, he will gel back his 
investment as soon as the film is turned over to the distributors and 
he will be able to complete another film in the same year if he wished 
If his oa^n resources extend to Rs. 1,60.000, it would be possible fof 
him to complete the negotiations with the Corporation for his second 
film even before the first film is complete, and keep on with hif 
production activities viewing it from the point of the Finance Corpo^ 
ration. If they set apart Rs. 4,80,000 for financing this producer, they 
will get back from the distributors the advance on his first produo* 
lion before his third production is due to go on the floor. 

311. The position will be quite different if each producer has 
be financed until his investment on the first picture is fully recovered, 
In the circumstances prevailing to-day, thedpeturns from a film cover 
the cost in about 24 months. During this period, a producer should 
be able to turn out at least six more films. The capital required to 
cover this would be, therefore, six times Rs. 80.000 or Rs. 4.80.0(X) in 
the hands of the producer and six times Rs. 2,40,000 or Rs. 14,40t0(M) to 
be advanced by the Corporation. 

312. If. on the other hand, the distribution is handled by a separaig 
concern, which distributes not merely the pictures of this produeff 
but of a number of other producers also, the capital required fug 
distribution will be less than Rs. 8 lakhs. This figure has ba«f| 
arrived at on the following table of recoveries which would be morf 
in accordance with current experience. 





Ist 4 months 



- 2i.d 



10% {)or month 







•> /O 99 99 





•» /*! 99 99 





** /O II 

" /• 




^ /O •# 99 


313. The total capital required would not in this case be six Uniey 
jthie cost of each film but less than 21 times. 


814. It would, of course, be possible for fte producer also 
noanage witii this proportion of capital if he is turning out films on 
the scale that we have indicated earlier as economical, ie., six films 
per year, each completed within four months of commencement, and 
released within four months thereafter, and at least two in produO' 
tlon at a time. Unfortunately, there is not even one producer in 
India who operates regularly on this scale at present, and the largest 
output from any producer diming 19^ was only six films. The capital 
required for financing distribution, would therefore be somewhere 
between the maximum of the value of two years’ output an<ia mini* 
mum of 2^ times the cost of a single picture. 

815. The Finance Corporation would have to make fresh advancea 
to the same or other producers, even while the films are being 
sore^ied and their revenues are coming in. This would imply, how* 
ever, that the capital of the Finance Corporation should be not two 
Gtores of rupees indicated earlier as the amount required for financ* 
ing production, but 2i times that figure, or five crores of rupees as 
estimated by the industry. It would also imply that since most 
producers have little co^teral security to offer, the Coloration 
would be shouldering th^isks of loss, which under the previous pro* 
poMl would have been taken over by distributors, or more correctly 
speaking, the Corporation would be carrying at any one moment, 
the market risks on 2^ times as many pictures if it finances distri* 
bution also as if it finances production only. 

316. We do not consider it feasible to raise a fund of five crores 
of rupees at the present juncture to finance the film industry. 
Further, we feel that until the production industry has been 
rationalised and the Corporation has had working experience cover* 
ing a number of years both witli regard to the producers themselves 
and the films they turn out, it would not be advisable for them to 
extend the scope of their operations to the field of distribution. 

817. It is not merely on these grounds that we have recommended 
the financing of individual production rather than the financing of 

S reducers. The main argument in favour of providing more finance 
} producers and thus enabling them to hold on to their pictures till 
they earn substantial profits is based on the present system. The 

E roducer without capital has often to mortgage the picture Jiefore it 
I completed, or even otherwise to sell it on any terms he can get 
in order to be able to get back the money that he has borrowed to 
put into the picture. Under the scheme proposed by us, once the 
Corporation has accepted a producer’s application for a loan, he would 
have no further financial worries about completing it, and he would 
have fte assistance and backing of the Corporation in negotiating 
the terms of distribution. 

818. The success of the scheme requires that distributors should 
e owy» forward in sufficient numbers to reimburse the Corporation for 
the amounts advanced and the producer for the capital he has {mt 
into t^ production, and to undertake the distribution fllma on 
terms which would leave the producer a decent return if the film 
is successful. We feel that if the distributors am make ^eir wo rking 
mipenses plus 10 per cent, on their earnings, it would provide a very 
gow return on the capital that they invest. When they realise that 


they are safeguarded against all the risks of defaulting produoen 
and delayed productions which they would encounter if they weM 
to finance the production directly, that they get completed ptcturea 
with no other mortgages or claims, that the pictures themselves hav« 
been made according to detailed plans and to carefully scrutinised 
budget with no padding anywhere, we are sure that they will not 
hesitate to take up the pictures. The additional fact that overall 
output will also be regulated according to release facilities should 
iid them of any further hesitancy. 

319. We are prepared, however, to grant that for the future, we 
should aim at an arrangement which would permit the financing of 
each producer rather than the financing of individual productions. 
Before such an arrangement can be brought into existence, it is 
essential that the producers who expect such long-term financing 
should plan their activities on a larger scale in order to (1) reduce 
their working costs and (2) to spread the inevitable market risks over 
a wider variety of pictures. The Corporation should also have a 
much larger fund at its disposal. We expect that the full rationalisa- 
tion of the industry would take a period of five years, but that in 
each year there would be four or five more producers whose opera- 
tions are on a sufficiently large and stable basis to permit of continued 
aid from the Corporation. We have no doubt that with the success- 
ful completion of each year by the Corporation and the building up 
of their resources by the producers themselves, the whole industry 
would secure increasing prosperity as a result of financial security 
and that would lead to all-round expansion and improvement. TTili 
would automatically create a demand for more capital which could 
be met under a process of automatic adjustment and growth. 

320. To summarise, the scheme outlined above is as follows: 

(1) A Finance Corporation would require initial capital at one 

crore of fupees; the resources should be increased by 
borrowing according to expanding market, financial 
stability and security, industrial efficiency and scope of 

(2) A reasonable share of the capital of the Corporation Is to 

be provided by Government, and the balance to be con- 
tributed from Entertainment Tax revenues and by 
public subscription. 

<3) Funds are to be advanced to producers in respect of indi- 
vidual productions the plans for which have been accept- 
ed by a Production Code Administration in which tbs 
Corporation will also be represented; the advances are 
not to exceed three-fourth of the approved budget for 
each picture, the balance being found by the pr^uceti 
and ffie picture to be completed within the schedtdea 
' . time. 

i: ■ ■ 

After completion of the picture, exploitation rights in it 
are to be transferred to one or more distributors (mi terns 
which ensure that (a) the Corporation’s advances are 
repaid immediately; (b) the producer’s investment 
remains a first charge on the net revenues; (c) addi- 
tional revenues are shared between the pnmucer and 
the diitribator. 

if Admin i s^tjpntJSMiseefie A* 


' - 

^ no 

, It is a prerequisite of the successful working of the Conii6> 
ration that the industry should be organised and worked 
with business>like efficiency and existing defects aiid 
wastages should be eliminated. It would also be essen* 
tial to have a suitable machinery for the prescrutiny of 
pictures and supervision of production on the lines of 
the American Production Code. 

. 821. We anticipate that there would be some degree of dls- 
Oppoinlment among producers if they realise the practical implica* 
liuns of the suggestions for a Finance Corporation, namely, that (a) 
their pictures will have to find a distributor immediately they have 
Veen censored, and that the Corporation will recover from the distri- 
Vutor an advance equal to the amount thev advanced for production, 
Imd (b) that they can obtain an advance from the Corporation for a 
keoond picture only if their first picture has found a buyer, and (cf 
Itiat the Corporation will not prove an unending source of finance 
had will regulate their advances according to the rate of returns, 
)Ne, however. no escaoe from this that, if the scheme is to work, 

t radiicers should make their own contribution and share their own 
■gitimate burden, the risks should he reduced to the minimum, and 
|he Corporation should operate with business-like efficiency. We 
Kave no doubt that it is only on these lines that the Corporation can 
create among producers that spirit of self and mutual help and 
ensure a degree of init’ative and freedom which are necessary tot 
|he welfare and prosperity of the industry and producers alike. 

822. Cost of pnblicltv. — We have discussed in another Chapter the 
methods adopted by film producers and distributors for publicising 
Iheir products and we are now concerned only with the cost of 
publicity and the extent to which the needs af publicity affect the 
Vhole industry. 

S23. From the information available to us. we find that expendi- 
ture on publicity amounts to an additional cost of 15 per cent, to 
85 per cent, on the cost of the film itself. Like the budget for pro- 
iuction. the budget for publicity is also drawn up primarily with an 
pye on the size of the audience that it is hoped to attract. Owing 
lo the large number of films that are at present competing for the 
|wtronage of the public and the increasing tendency among ^ 
public to pick and choose their entertainment, expenditure on 
Publicity has been growing of late, particularly in Bombay and 
Itadras. Certain producers w'ho are alarmed by the mounting costa 
of publicity sponsored a movement for voluntary restriction of 
Publicity budgets. This was taken uo both at Calcutta and a( 
Bombav by the B.M.P.A. and the IMPPA. but because of conflicting 
Interests as well as the fundamental difference of opinion, the 
tebemes have had to be dropped. 

824. In a field in which free enterprise should be encouraged 
Ikere can be no obiection to competitive selling. It is the right w 
Iveiy one to put forth the maximum effort to get his producta^ 
li^pted by the public, ^me have argued that unrestricted publicity 
bel|K the larger firms since they have the financial resources tot 
iwmnsive press campaign. This is no doubt ti ue; but it is also true 
that the larger firms have also the resources to produce spectacular 
ikBiB fhe most popular stars. No one argues that tUs state 


tt tffairs places too much power in the hands of the flnandatty 
Itrotiaer pi^ucers. Moreover, it seems to us quite natural that those 
%tio have staked more on an individual picture should be ready to 
•pend larger sums on publicity in order to safeguard their stake 
We are doubtful therefore, of the practicability of any ipeasure 
Which tends to restrict expenditure on this aspect of activities while 
leaving others unrestricted. 

S25. Desirability of gradual redaction of costs.— We feel, however, 
that the expenditure on publicity bears at present too high a pro- 

C ortion to the over-all cost of the picture. “Selling costs” tend to be 
igh in those economic systems where the output of each individual 
)b very much greater thqp his n^ds. and a considerable section of 
tne population can be engaged in the non-oroductive activity of 
•omj^titive selling, as for example in the U.S.A. We doubt, how- 
ever. whether such aggressive publicity can be justified in a country 
like ours. 

326. Any trade recession gives rise to two contradictory methods 
•f fighting it. One school believes in cutting down marginal expendi- 
ture and in bu'lding up stability. The other school believes that 
aggressive publicity methods are the only means of carrying the 
industry through any depression. It seems certain that the film 
industry would shortly be faced with a critical situation brought 
about by shrinkaee of spending .power, which cannot be overcome 
aven by large-scale expansion of exhibition facilities. We would 
suggest that the industry should adopt the strictest economy in order 
to helo it through this difficult situation, and the item on which con- 
trol should be exercised most vigorously is publicity expenditure 

327. Taxation. — Protests against the “crushing burden of taxation" 
form the constant refrain of the film industry, and the statement is 
generally made and widely believed that the financial stability and 
prosoerity of the industry are directly dependent on the extent ta 
wh’ch it can obtain relief from taxation. The effect of taxation on 
Various branches of the industry could be regarded as cumulative, 
but there are certain taxes whose incidence and burden are directly 
felt by soecific sectors of the industry. The producers, for instnnci^ 
•re aggrieved by the prevailing method of assessment for incomle-tag 
•f the revenue derived by them from films. For purposes of taxation, 
3he income-tax authorities have, since 1937. adopted a basis kg 
Valuing films, which is now criticised by the industry as arbitraiy 
•nd inequitable. The revenue-earning life of a film is assumed by 
the authorities to be three years, and on that assumption, the income* 
lax authorities allow a deduction of 60. 25 and 15 per cent, of the 
lost of the film during the first, second and third years of its exploita- 
tion respectively. On the basis of this calculation, the residual value 
bt a film is assessed at 40 per cent of its original cost at the end of 
the first year of circulation, at 15 per cent at the end of the second 
year, the value being extinguished completely at the end of the 
third year. If. for instance, a film has cost Rs. 3 lakhs to piquet 
and has earned Rs. 2 lakhs at the end Of the first year of its exploits' 
lion, the authorities write-off 60 per cent of the cost of production,' 
that is Rs. 1.80.000 and deducting this amount from the year’s income 
bf Rs. 2.00.000. the balance of Rs. 20.000 is taxed as net income from 
the picture. The producers contend that the rate at which the 
kieomt-taix authorities permit the write-off process while, perhi^ * 



rea 5 K>nable at the time when it was introduced, works out very 
inequitably. They say that in the case qf all but a few pictures, 
-most of the revenue is earned in the first year of showing, rad th^ 
are very few cases where any revenue is earned in the third 
ft is the view of the producers that a more reasonable method €» 
amortisation should be fixed, and they have quoted a number <« 
Instances where tax had been assessed on anticipated profite whira 
were never realised. In the case of producers who are continuous^ 
in business and have a regular turn-over of pictures, the loss might 
be set off in the books against earnings from other pictures rad the 
necessary deductions made. But, as it is, the number of producrai 
who have a continuing turn-over of pictures spread over a numbtf 
of years is small, and the hardship caused by the present method 
Is very real for the small producers who have Just one picture in 
hand on the realisations of which depends their continuity in the 
business. The position was discussed by the Committee with repre- 
sentatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Board of 
Revenue. The official spokesmen agreed that the present method 
of valuation and amortisation might prove hard in individual casds 
of producers whose films did not make any profit, and that the 
question of issuing special instructions to cover cases meriting excep- 
tional treatment was under consideration. Later in this chapter we 
have based our calculations regarding capital investment on a new 
basis of anticipated revenue, calculated from the information avail- 
able to us. 

328. It is the contention of the'producers that the provision for 
depreciation of studio equipment now allowed by the income-tra 
authorities is not adequate. In view of the rapid advances that are 
being made daily in the technique of the film industry, equipment 
in studios is liable to the risk of obsolesence within a very short time. 
Moreover, much of the equipment used there is not of the sturdy 
•type used for the manufacture of goods but of a fragile nature whose 
precision is likely to be spoiled after comparatively shorter use. 
There is, therefore, a case for re-examining the rates of depreciation 
allowed on such equipment. 

329. Besides the demand for revision of the basis of income-tax 
assessment, the producers also ask for relief on the import duty on 
raw film, which is now charged at tljree pies per linear foot, and 
on levies made by States governments, such as sales tax on raw 
•film, equipment, carbons, make-up materials, etc. The claim foi 
concessional treatment is made on the basis that the film industry 
should be treated as a basic national activity providing an essentiu 
amenity of modern life. Even granting the validity of these Hatni a 
for consideration, the point arises whether the film industry is tay^^ 
at a higher rate on its raw materials than other similar indusfel^ 
•Imported equipment for film production is generally assessed oai 
the same basis as other capital equipment for industry. Raw 

i which forms the bulk of the taxed material used by the industry, 
‘fa not assessed at a higher rate than similar manufactured goods ra 
which revenue duty is payable, such as chemicals or paper add 
pasteboard. In the case of chemicals the duty fa in some cases a 
revenue duty and In other cases, protective. In all these c a b m , it 
must also be considered whether the duty or tax fa really a tmh- 
•tratlal addition to the cost of the finished product Taking the 

breakdown of costs of the average picture, which we have discussed 
o^irHor in this Chapter, it would appear that the effect of these duties 
on the tot^ Cost is negligible. 

330. Another fee- which the producer directly pays the gowrn- 
ment is when a picture is seen by the Board of Censors for the grant 
of the release certificate. The fee now charged is generally 
rupees per one thousand feet. This caiuiot be coruidered high In view 
of the fact that tiie work of censors is not a formality but involvn 
patient and meticulous examination of every detail of the film, story, 
dialogue, music and general effect on the audience. With 
centralisation of censorship, a demand which the industry has long 
been making, the industry has been relieved of the risk of having 
to pay fees to more than one Board, but the point arises wheth^ 
the increase from Rs. 5 to Rs. 40 per reel is justified by the additionu 
benefits to the industry or by the expansion of the administration 

331. At present no revenue cess is being levied on the output of 
this industry. Some years back, the question of a cess was taken 
up in connection with certain urgently needed measures for the 
assistance of the industry. The proposal was however dropped 
because it was hoped that the industry would by itself imdertake 
these measures without Government having to intervene by collect- 
ing the cess and providing out of the funds the technical assistance 
needed. The subsequent years have however shown the inability 
of the industry to take the necessary steps for its own well-being. 

332. Some of the witnesses who have appeared before the Com- 
mittee have stressed two aspects of the matter. One is the well- 
known fact that most film artistes have only a short “screen” life 
during' which they exploit their limited capital assets of voice, 
feature or form. These, they say, depreciate rapidly in a compara- 
tively short period ranging from four to eight years, and the usual 
screen life of an artiste averages only five years. Earnings from the 
screen are, however, taxed like normal income from other professions 
in which the earning capacity of the individual is spread over 30 
years or so. This, the artistes feel, is unfair since their revenue 
consists in part of earnings during the year and in the greater part 
of revenue more or less from the sale of their capital assets. ' 

333. Afiother point which they have stressed is the deduction of 
expenses incurred in connection with their profession from their 
total earnings in each year. It is their contention that expenditure 
on coaches for training in diction, music or dancing are really pro- 
fessional expenses incurred in connection with the exercise of their 
calling just like expenditure on the emplojmnent of managers or 
running an office for their pitofessional work of personal publicity. 
All these, they contend, should be considered legitimate professional 
expen^ture which they should be permitted to deduct from their 
earnings before income-tax is assessed. 

334. We have referred earlier to the distribution of income be- 
tween the producer, distributor and exhibitor, and the suggestion 
that has been voiced, that if one sector of the industry profits more 
than the others, it should be encouraged or compelled to invest its 
surplus profits in the other sectors. Since the actual earning power 
la vested in exhibition, this suggestion really imidies that exhibitkn 


Aould be linked up with distribution and production. This is • 
^tter in which we may benefit by the experience of other produc* 
ftog countries. In the U.SA., the major producing concerns have 
noently been controlling their own exhibition facilities and we may 
Infer tnat tne profits of exhibition are being made available to the 
production side. But there the Department of Justice has been fight* 
log a series of actions against these big combines culminating in a 
recent judgment of the Supreme Court which has ordered the pnh 
ducers to divest themselves of their controlling interest over exhibi- 
tion to a very large extent. There has been considerable legal diffi- 
culty in sorting out the extent to which the producers have been 
controlling exhibition, and in consequence strangling the growth of 
independent producers, but it may be expected, that in course of 
tune a divorce between production and exhibition would be satis- 
factorily achieved. In the U.K., some of the largest producers have 
been linked up with chains of theatres and recently when the slump 
came, it was the dominant voice of the exhibition sector which 
arrived at the decision to curtail production and depend on imported 
films for earning dividends. With these examples before us, we 
incline to the opinion that the present position in the Indian industry 
where even the largest producers have only a few theatres under 
their own direct control is ultimately likely to benefit the industry 
more than any vertical combine. While exhibition is the sustaining 
force in the industry, we feel that the creative activity of production 
should not be made directly dependent on the dictates of the com- 
mercial requirements of the exhibitor. With production independent, 
fhere is a much greater possibility of films being produced for their 
own intrinsic contents than if production were linked up with exhibi- 
tion and inevitably became its hand-maid. 

335. Nevertheless, we realise that in present conditions, the shatt 
of revenue that goes to exhibitors is out of proportion to their role 
In the industrial structure, and an insufficient proportion of this 
money, if at all. returns to the industry. Investments in neW 
cinema are ruled out or severely curtailed by the many restrictioni 
on building activities. We have found from experience that an 
Insignificant part of this revenue is spent on the improvement ^ or 
lurovision of additional amenities in existing cinemas. 



836. Emeifeiiee of distributor as a separate entity.— Distribution 
•s a distinct and separate unit in the set-up of film industry is a rela- 
tively recent development. When the Indian Cinematograph Com* 
mittee reported in 1928, there were only 11 film distributing agenciea 
and. they were all dealing in foreign films. The Committee found 
that the distribution of Indian films was in most cases undertaken 
^ the producers themselves who negotiated directly with the 
eichibitors. The Committee noted that in such rare cases where 
Indian producers employed a distributing agency, the distributor 
^ bimself had advanced money to the producer, and thus acquired sole 
exploitation rights over the picture. With the e::pansion of produc- 
tion activity and increase in the number of cinema houses, perma. 
aent as well as touring, and in view of the vast area to be served in 
this country, the distributor has come into his own as an interme- 
diary between the producer and the exhibitor. He is today the 
medium through which the other two branches of the industry are 
^ Connected and the supply and demand linked. In a number of cases, 
the distributor is not a mere renter of films. He directly finances 

f iroduction. and sometimes has ownership interests in theatres, in 
act, in the financial scheme of the industry, the distributor has m 
some cases larger stakes than either the producer or the exhibitor. 
The growth of distribution as a separate business, and the 
Important place it occupies in the industry may be gauged by the 
fact -that, while there were 214 distributors in 1938, there were 887 
in 1948 — an increase of over 400 per cent. An indication of the re- 
duction of business in the distribution of foreign films is available 
from the fact that while there were 27 distributors of foreign filnu 
Id 1938, their number was only 10 in 1948. 

837. Indian distributors operate in different “circuits”. There are 
$ few who have an all-Inrlia field for ooeration. w'ith head offices in 
Bombay and branches in other cities, while many are confined to dis> 
liiict regional areas. From the regional point of view, the Southern 
rircuit, comprising Madras. Mysore. Hyderabad. Travancore and 
Cochin formM the largest single unit in 1948 accounting for 338 
lUstributors out of an all Indian total of 887. This large number of 
iistributors in the South is explained by the fact that out of about 
1.200 cinemas in India, over 1.000. or nearly 35 per cent., are in th« 
South. A comparative statement of the number of distributors in 
different regions and circuits on a decennial basis for 1928. 1938 and 
1948 is given in Appendix XIX. 

838. Response to queaWnnalres.— In order to ascertain at first 
hand the problems of distributors, the Committee sent out question- 
naires to 600 individual distributors and organisations, and received 
replies from 38. Twentyfive Indian distributors were also orally 
Examined by us during our visits to various centres of the film in- 
gust^. It is. however, very much to be regirtted that from thq 
foreign distributors i»t even one represeiitative was prepared to 



come forward to preseot his views before the Committee. Although 
the business of foreign film distribution is dwindling, it is still 1^ 
no means inconsiderable, as foreign films cater to large numbers of 
educated film-goers in cities and towns. From the figures made 
available by the. Reserve Bank of India, during the financial year 
1948-49, distributors and exhibitors of films of American oiiglii 
collected about Rs. 80 ;akhs by the screening of a total of 610 films 
and remitted home Rs. 30 lakhs. 

339. Organisation of dlstilbutMa.— Like the producers and ex- 
hibitors the distributors are organised into associations separately as 
well as jointly. The Indian Motion Picture Distributors Associatii^ 
established in Bombay in 1938 had a membership of 120 at the end 
of 1949. Of this 70 members were from Bombay City, while the r^ 
were from other parts of the coimtry. A notable activity of t^ 
IMPDA is the formulation and enforcement of the standard film 
renting contract, and settlement of disputes with exhibitors as well 
as producers in the working of the contract. Besides . arbitration of 
disputes, the Association assists to a large extent in bringing about 
settlement of members’ complaints regarding non-payment of out- • 
standings and non-exhibition of contracted pictures before expi^ 
of the contracts. In 1948 the Association dealt in all with 388 coniv- 

P laints. The South Indian Film Chamber and the Bengal Motion 
icture Association have got separate sections for dealing with the 
problems of distribution. There are also some associations of film 
distributors in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, etc. Distribu- 
tors of foreign films have a separate organisation called the Klne- 
matograph Renters’ Society or India. One of the main functions (rf 
the Society is to protect its members in respect of infringements of 
titles, trade marks, trade names and copyright of foreign films, 

340. Complaint against producers and exhibitors.— As a middle 
man in the industry, the distributor depends for his profits directly 
on the number of films he handles, their pulling power at the ’ box 
office and on the exhibition facilities available. Reasons of business 
expansion and stability have led him sometimes directly to take part 
In the activities of production as well as exhibition. The distributors 
in India are usually men who can command finance and seek remu- 
nerative investment and it is, therefore, easy for them to finance 
producers, or become producers themselves, when this promises a 
better return on the investment. 

341. There are many consequences that arise from this depeh- 
dence on finance from distributors in the case of a large number ^ 
producers. Many of the producers have told us that it is generally 
impossible for them to secure the interest of a distributor unle^ tne 
picture features one or two well-kimwn stars. This results in thd 
producers running after a limited number of stars, and offerl^ 
them engagements irrespective of the star’s suitability for the 
particular story on hand, the producer’s own view of the st^ 
"box-office appeal” and quite often of the star’s ability to find the 
time for undertaking one more picture. Latterly there has been aa 
extension of this system so as to include prominent play-backs. The 
distributors who appeared before us generally disclaimed respoi^ 
bility in this matter, and some of them have denied that they ever 
"dictated the choice of stars in the case of pictures they finaac^ hot 
they admitted that they would think twice before flnanaiwfl • 
picture with entirely uidmown stars. Similarly it has been brought 


to our notice that distributors make “suggestions” in regard to the 
story and sometimes about the songs and tunes. Considering the 
&iancial relations between producer and distributor, such 
“suggestions” are generally taken as mandatory by the producer. 
It is quite natural that the distributor should seek to safeguard his 
Investment, and therefore suggests what in his view adds to the 
potential earning capacity of the film. Theoretically, too, the dis- 
uibutor, with his experience of the market, should be in a position, 
to say what will draw the patrons. Unfortunately, in quite a number 
<d cases, the distributor is not possessed of the necessary background 
Iot offering advice, and it is very often a case of the ignorant leading 
the unwise astray. Distributors appear to have been ultimately res- 
ponsible for the temporary success of some “stars” who managed 
to secure on the strength of one “hit” a number of engagements 
which their merit failed to Justify. They appear also to have been 
at least partly responsible for the establishment of certain “cycles” 
in film-making, resulting in the production of a dozen different vari- 
ations on a theme long after the public has tired of it. We do not 
necessarily blame them for their mistakes, but would only express 
disapproval of their attitude, and the naive assumption that the ulti- 
mate success of a film can be assured by these methods or even 
safeguarded in this fashion. 

342. What has been called the baneful influence of the distributor 
on the producer is not peculiar to this country, if this is any cause 
for satisfaction. Judging from reports, the U.K. has not been free 
from complaints of similar difficulties. There too, it has been the 
practice in the past to secure the backing of established distributors 
before seeking finance in the market, and even the Film Finance 
Corporation looks to the guarantee from the distribiTtor. Stories of 
how plots have been mutilated or the whole conception of a film 
changed to please the distributor are therefore common there, and 
perhaps inevitable under this system. 

343. The main complaint of the producers has not been so much 
about such interference with production, but about the terms on 
which financial assistance can be secured. It is admitted by both 
sides that the share of the revenues which reach the producer are 
far greater where he is able to retain all the exploitation rights in 
a picture, and the distributor merely acts as his agent for renting 
the film to exhibitors. At the other extreme we have the case of 
the producer without the necessary resources to complete a picture, 
who has to sign away practically all his rights to secure the necessary 
advance, and who can hope to recoxip his own investment in the 
picture only after it has earned for the distributor a sum by far 
greater than the* amount of the advance. As financier, the distribu- 
tor charges interest on the amount he advances, and the rate of 
interest that can be charged is generally restricted by law. The 
arrangement therefore takes the form of securing to him a further 
sum, usually a heavy percentage on the advance, euphemistically 
cbUm ..“rc^alty” which again has to be met from the earning 
before they can be set off against the advance. On top of this, file 
distributor’s share of what remains is often higher than the share 
of the producer, and even this sharing is done only after the distri- 
butor has deducted a further percentage as his working expenses. 
With the present state of the industry, where the bulk of the pro- 
diiction work is undertaken by “independents” and new-comers at 


that, who have no resources of their own and whose only qualillai* 
tioo for entering the indusuy is their having been able to raise 4 
few tens of thousands for the preliminary expenses, it seems in» 
evitable that the distributor, who will have no recourse for recovee^ 
ing his advance if the picture hops, should seek to impose uncons> 
cionable terms on all those who seek his assistance. With the larg4 
proportion of failures that have been turned out in recent years, it 
is not surprising that what the distributor charges as insurance 
against failure is so high. If two pictures out of three turn out U| 
be flops (a very modest estimate), the insurance premium is naturally 
round about VO'a . It seems surprising however that not many ol 
the producers or of the distributors either, seem to have fully 
realised that such a high percentage of failures is not inevitable^ 
even in such a chancy business as the film industry, and that con« 
ditions could be improved for both parties, if only the unworthy 
could be kept out of the production sector. Ihe blame for the present 
chaotic condition of film finance rests at least partly on the distri« 
buiurs who have not hesitated to treat the whole matter as a plaiq 
gamble and would quite as willingly finance an adventurer, if only 
the terms promised to be remunerative. 

344. We must also examine the distributor-producer relations 
from the view point of the former. The distributor obuins a picture 
from the producer by one of the following arrangements: (1) Out* 
right purchase of the negative rights, or exploitation rights perpetu* 
ally or for a specific period; (2) Functioning as an agent of the pro* 
ducer for a fixed commission, which normally varies between 10 and 
20 per cent of the returns; (3) Paying an advance against the 

of exploitation rights and a commission on the proceeds: (4) offering 
a minimum guarantee to the producer against the lease of exploita* 
tion rights of a picture and a commission on the proceeds. Th* 
negative rights, may be. and quite often are. retained by the producee 
himself. The distributors have complained that they find severd 
difficulties in getting the pinits or at least the negative of a picture 
even when they were prepared to get the copies printed on positive 
film supp.ied b.y them direct to laboratories on their own account 
The Indian Motion Picture Distributors Association, in the course of 
• written memorandum submitted to us. stated that they werq 
“painfully aware of oases in which the distributors have not been 
able to secure additional prints from their producers despite repeated 
requests for the last three .years, with the result that the distributorg* 
nave not been even able to realise their investments on such fllmf 
for want of new copies”. 

345. The distributors have also complained that the transaction 
of blind purchase has more often than not caused them great flnan* 
eial loss, but for this they have to blame themselves. The te n de m 
cy of gamble detracts from the business value of the cinema, and 
the distributors can themselves help directly in elimiiiitiiig the 
evil. In our review of the financing of film riroduction. we envisage 
the distributors being able to make rational bids for pictures if 
the nature of a forward contract with the full knowledge of the ca sf 
and story values before a picture has been completed. That is ad 
an^ngement which is fair and would be beneficial to the prodiKag 
and the distributor alike. 

.34R. From evidence p'*8ced before us. it appears that thg 
relationship of the distributor with the exhibitor bristles with mom' 
eumplications than even with the producer. The distributor# 


chances of quick realisation from any picture are governed by the 
release facilities available. It has oeen said that several pictures 
obtained from producers have to lie lor a long time unexnibiied 
because theatres are not available. Ihe position is not so acute in 
cases where the distributors control a cnain of theatres, but tha 
problem impinges hard on those distributors who are just distribu* 
tors without any direct part or lot in exhibition business. With tha 
shortage of cinema houses on tne one hand and increase of tha 
quantity of films available for exhibition on the other, the distribu** 
lor naturally supports the general demand of the industry for facH 
lities to build more cinema houses. While in that direction lies hia 
ultimate hope, he finds himseif meantime at the mercy of the ex« 
hibitor, and his investment is locked up. 

347. The distributors enter into a clear contract with exhibitorsi, 
which stipulates the terms and conditions of renting a picture and 
the duration of the lease. The distributor’s share is either a 
minimum guarantee per week and or a percentage of the gross col- 
lecuons, the amount fixed varying with the bargaining position o| 
either contracting party. In view of the paucity of theatres, thd 
distributor is said to be at a disadvantage and has in consequence to 
offer several inducements, such as guaranteeing on his side a mini- 
mum return for the picture which he offers for exhibition, or a hold- 
over and protection. The hardship is said to be great in obuimnd 
theatres for first release in Bombay. The distributors have alle^ 
several breaches of agreement on the part of the exhibitors. Thead 
relate to nonpayment of legitimate snare amounts, unauthorised 
exhibition of films beyond the period contracted for. damage to 
prints caused by bad projection manipulation of daily coll^ioit 
and attendance figures, and othei^ The exhibitors on their side am 
eqwlly vehement in declaring their innocence and blaming the dj»< 
tributor. It is not for us to sit in judgment on these charges and 
ctmnter-charges, but as co-partners in a common business, the dis- 
tributor and the exhibitor should together promote honest trado 

E ractlces and dealings that are above reproacn. Government 
e expected to directly help them out of their predicament. Whild 
breaches of agreement can always be settled through a court of law, 
conciliation by mutual adjustment and co-operation should be pre- 
ferred to protracted litigation which ultimately brings down the 
reputation of the industry as a whole. . 

* 348. Export of Indian films.— The export market for Indian filma 
Is an important source of revenue to the industry, and incidentally of 
foreign exchange. Such films may be of Indian origin or. even it of 
foreign manufacture, of Indian ownership. In the latter category 
may be included pictures released as originally purchased ' fitml 
foreign countries . as well as those in which the commentary oR 
dialogue has been dubbed or sub-titles added in India to suit th« 
particular markets served from India. 

349. The main market abroad is. of course. Pakistan, and India* 
exporters to this area are being put to considerable difficulties, par- 
ticularly in the despatch of films and in the realisation of incom* 
earned in Pakistan. The question of exports to Pakistan is being 
taken up separately. 

350. Other important export markets for Indian films are coon- 
tn'^ where the»x» are large groups of Indians, such as Malaya. Indo- 
China, Siam, Burma, East Africa, South Africa, etc. Some Tnrfia* 


Olinit are shown occasionally to the nationals of Iraq, Irso» the 
Persian Gulf area and East Africa, ‘nxese markets can possibly be 
developed if sufficient facilities are given to Indian film exp<^e^ 
Distribution rights in a small number of foreign films are held by 
Tn diftw firms as far as Middle Eastern countries are concerned, whue 
In some cases, films are purchased outright by Indian firms, ^e di^ 
trlbution of such films of non-Indian origin would establish channeu 
for the marketing of Indian films ana also add to our invisible 

. 351. Ei^ort of films to Pakistan.— In the case of export to Pakis- 
tan, the main difficulty has been, of course, the failure to agree upon 
a standard rate of exchange between the Indian rupee and the 
^dcistani rupee and the consequent dislocation in the adjustment of 
trade accounts. We hope that with agreement reached on the ques- 
tion of exchange ratio, this difficulty would no longer operate and 
the traffic in films would be resumed and grow in volume. There are^ 
however, other difficulties which have to be overcome before Indian 
films :an circulate in Pakistan to an extent comparable with that 
exist' ng before partition. The first is the growing desire on the 
part of Pakistani producers to secure a large share of their home 
market, a share to which the number and quality of the productions . 
now turned out by them would not entitle them to. The Pakistani 
press has been carrying numerous reports of their producers trying 
to curtail imports and the protests of the exhibitors against such a 
curtailment which would seriously affect the efficient working of 
the exhibition industry in Pakistan. Another factor has been the 
question of the import duty. The normal import duty for exposed 
films brought into India is four annas per foot, while the corres- 
ponding import duty in Pakistan is only half an anna. This rate 
has been temporarily raised by an order of the Pakistan Govern- 
ment, but even then the duty there is much lower than the duty in 
India. This has led to a certain amount of agitation in Pakistan on 
the ground that India charges a much higher duty on Pakistani 
films than Pakistan charges 'on Indian films. This agitation has 
greatly disturbed the Indian producers who feel that their export 
market might be considerably affected thereby. The fact, of 
course, is that in both cases, in Pakistan as in India, aU exposed 
films are charged for at the same rate of duty irrespective of the 
country of origin. In view of the very limited market in Pakistan 
consequent on the smaller number of cinemas, it is only logical that 
the Import duty in Pakistan should be much lower than the 
corresponding duty in India which offers a much wider market 
l^is difference in duty cannot, therefore, be cited as evidence of 
differential treatment in the two countries; nor should it on any 
reaaoxuible ^unds justify any action against Indian films Iq ; 
Pakistan. India which is a large-scale importer of exposed fllmi 
from the U.SA. and the U.K. cannot, in consideration of the revmiuaa 
earned by these films in this country, charge a lower rate than it 
does at present; nor can there be any justification for Mcording. 
fecial treatment to films frrm Pakistan. 

3S2. Another difficulty that is reported to have arisen is the levy 
by the Pakistan Government of a heavy penalty on all film import! 
Witnesses have not been able to explain on what grounds this levy 
has been made, but one or two newspaper reports said that import 
Ueoioes are not generally granted for Indian films brouidit Inin 


I^akistan, and that this is made a reason for the levy of a penalty 
on imports. This is a matter which can be settled only on inter- 
Governmental level and that too when the general trade relations 
with Pakistan are on, what may be called, a normal basis. 

353. So far, we have dealt with the difficulties faced by Indian 
exporters of films due to Governmental restrictions or other trade 
restrictions. In our view, the small volume of export trade from 
India cannot be explained solely by the reasons so far quoted. Dis- 
tributors generally have not taken the initiative in developing the 
markets abroad, and even in cases where we had built up some 
business before the war steps have not been taken in the last few 
years to recover the trade interrupted by the war. With . growing 
improvements in the standard of Indian productions, it ^ould be 
possible for the distributors to secure a much larger share in foreign, 
markets than at present. This would apply not merely to areas like 
South East Asia or East Africa where a large number of people 
of Indian descent are settled, but also to other markets. The possi- 
bilities of producing export versions with insert titles in local langu- 
ages or even complete dubbed versions should also be examined care- 
fully and some enterprising producers should come forward with 
suitably edited versions of the films that have proved successful in 
India. With the growing cost of production and a definite limit, on 
the possible earnings in this country, it is essential that in the in- 
terests of its betterment the industry should develop the export 

.354. Re-import of films;— Difficulties of customs regulations. — 
Indian exporters in the past seem to have found difficulty in the re- 
import of film copies into India after they have been exhibited 
abroad. Apparently, customs duty is charged again on the copies 
returned to this country even where the films have been originally 
produced in India or where they had earlier been imported into 
India after payment of full customs duty, if more than three years 
have elapsed since the date of export. It will be realised that irt 
some cases copies would not have served their full life abroad and 
the original exporters would be put to loss unless the copies are 
received back tor further exploitation either in this country or in 
other markets. A copy can be projected successfully up to 400 
times. It has been the experience of exporters that they are rarely 
able to secure more than 150 exhibitions within three years and even 
if the film is kept abroad for four years or more, they can be shown 
only 200 times. They feel that there is still some useful life left 
in the copy at the time of re-import. The rate of customs duty on 
exposed films is four annas per foot so that it works out to Rs. 2,750 
for a picture of 11,000 ft. The cost of preparing a new copy of this 
size is less than Rs. 1,100. It would not, therefore, be economical for 
the original exporters to pay even a small fraction of the duty neces- 
sary to get it back into India. This difficulty would also arise if films 
sent back to India by the overseas exhibitors are auctioned by the- 
customs authorities, because the original exporters would not pay 
duty afresh and take delivery of the copy. The purchasers in the 
auction may make improper use of the films that fall into their 
hands, earning revenue by showing such pictures in other areas 
where they have no right to show them. The result is that exporters 
in such cases have to pay the heavy import duty itis^ to prevent the 
copy falling into wrong hands, even though the mih is not worth te 
them a quarter of the amount of duty. 


'355. The time-limit, for re-import of goods without payment of 
customs duty appears to be a statutory provision under Section 25 of 
the Sea Customs Act and as such, the Ministry of Finance (Revenue 
Division) find themselves imable to make a general relaxation in 
favour of films exported from India. 

'j56. Another possibility of earning revenue abroad is by the 
manufacture of films specially for export. Countries like Ceylon 
and Burma not possessing a highly developed film indxistry do not 
have the facilities that India possesses for production of fil^, partis 
cularly educational films. India has a surplus productive capacity 
and iwrsonnel, and can undertake the shooting of film in thm 
countries, with a story and background that would appeal to the 
nationals of these countries, get it processed in India, add commen* 
tary and music and export the copies. There are, however, several 
obstacles to the building up of such a trade on a regular basis. Firstly, 
Import duty, will have to be paid on the entire footage of the film 
brought into the country, on the same basis as for “exposed fifan”. 
It is usual to shoot from five to fifteen times the actual length used 
in the final copy and so far a documentary or educational picture of 
say 1,000 ft, it might be necessa^ to expose up to 15,000 ft of film 
and all of it has to be imported into this country. This is only for 
the picture negative and, if sound or music have also to be recorded 
on location abroad, import duty will have to be paid on, perhapiL 
another 10,000 ft After all that footage has been process^, edited 
and printed, the length of the film finally re-exported would be oaij 
1,000 ft, but even on this footage, it would not be possible to obtaia 
refund of the customs duty, as it is difficult to identuy this completed 
reel with any of the scores of odd shots previously imported. Such 
difficulties have already arisen when some Indian pnmucers tried 
production of films for exhibition abroad. 

357. Bow United Kingdom solved dlfflcnlty.— In the United Kingh 
dom, a solution was found for this problem by locatiim a bondM 
film laboratory close to an airport to which exposed mm is taken 
directly on import into the country. The film is processed, edited, 
re-recorded and then the finished copies are exported from the 
bonded laboratory. Storage facilities are available for keeMng 
ihots which might later be needed for producing different versions 
}r as library shots. Important film producers in India can usefidly 
adopt this arrangement on a co-operative or joint basis, and we am 
jure facilities would be provided by the authorities when required 

358. Another difficulty is with regard to the export of camenu 
and recording equipment and their subsequent re-import back Inie 
^le country. The present procedure seems rather cumbersome: and 
tt should be possible to eliminate these difficulties without the risk 
3 f evasion of payment of all legitimate revenues. This facility would 
help the shooting on location abroad. In many cases, raw film mav 
aot be easily available in places abroad, and Indian producers woolfl 
have to export raw film also along with cameras and equipment 

359. Free export of imexposed film negative.— The export at un> 
exposed film negative for “bona fide” shooting work by Indian ptfv 
fucers should be freely permitted by the authorities. The Gkivem* 
ment should also be prepared to utilise the diplomatic channels to 
secure every possible fa(mity and assistance for Indian {Hroducen in 


countries where they may plan production specially to suit sndh 
markets. This would help Indian producers not merely to undertahl 
commissions on behalf of producers abroad, but also add to the valui 
of their products for export. 

Import and distribution ol foreign fllm s 

300. Volume of trade in foreign films.— The flares below tndU 
cate the footage and declared value of exposed cinematograph 
imported into this country : — 



FoImIii At. 













9,60 .023 






9,026.731 ^ 









22 278.338 









18.367,30 : 


























1949 50 



feature fllms, newsreels, and diorts account for the bulb 
of the import and the U.S.A. have the bi^st share of the Indiasi 
markets contributing mainly features and shorts, while newsteell 
are imported from the U.K, 

361. Distribution in India.— The import and distribution of foreign 
fllma in this country are handled almost exclusively by affilitate msh 
wigntiima established in India by the producers themselves. This 
arrangement covers the distribution or the products of the “majors* 
of Houywood; in the case of a few independents and in the case o( 
firitjah productions, distribution is throu^ Indian aj^nts of ffaf 

' "124 

producers. All these distributors are associated together in the 
mnematograph Renters’ Society which has ten members and main* 
tains its headquarters at Bombay. Nine of the members handle U.S. 
productions and one handles British productions. Statistics of the 
imports'of U.S. features and shorts are given below for the post-war 
years • 




Ko. of filiu« 


No. of filme 


No. of filmB 



from U.S.A* 

(in 1000 ft.) 

from TJ.S'A. 

(in 1000 ft.) 

from U.S.A. 

(in :000 ft.) 





















72-35 MM 

67-36 MM 


62-36 MM 


63-16 MM 


34-:6 MM 

1 0 

.0-16 MM 







10 I 




































847 j 




362. We have made several requests individually to the producers 
and jointly to their society to intimate to us the terms on which they 
handle the distribution of these films. We regret, that we have not 
been able to obtain from them full details on the points we had 
raised, nor have we had any response to the invitations we had sent 
to some members to appear before us. We have however, been able 
to obtain particulars of the most usual form of contracts of distribu- 
tion between foreign organizations and the offices in India. The 
Hollywood producers maintain on the east coast of the U.S.A., theii 
own distribution organisations with whom the contracts are entered 
into by the organisations in India. The contract covers only the 
rights for the exploitation of the films within the area allotted to the 
office in India and sometimes reservations are made excludit^ 
“super-productions” from the scope of the contract. A certain 
number of copies would be supplied for distribution in India aihd in 
some cases, where it may be necessary to make additional copies^ 


there are special provisions about making the negative available 
and for estimating the cost of the additional copies. The exploita- 
tion rights of the Indian offices lapse usually at the end of three or 
live years from the date of the receipt of the picture in India, The 
New York offices bear the cost of making the copies and sending 
them to India and also bear the customs charges levied at Indian 
ports. Posters and publicity material are sent out from New York, 
and expenditure in India is usually confined to newspaper advertise- 
ments and similar local publicity, A certain proportion of the gross 
revenue in India is to be remitted to the New York offices and the 
expenses of the Indian office are to be met from the balance. This 
information is based partly on what the Kinematograph Renters' 
Society has furnished us and what we have been able to gather from 
other sources, 

• r 

’ 363. Regulation of imports. — At present the import of foreign 
films is nominally controlled by the fixing of a monetary ceiling to 
the value of such imports in each licensing period. When the antici- 
pated expenditure on foreign currency is distributed over the 
requirements of various trades and industries, a certain amount is 
allocated for the import of films, and the value of import licences 
issued is set off against this allocation. The c.i.f. cost of imported films 
as shown in the statistics of import trade, ranges from two annas to 
four annas per foot. This figure, which is, perhaps, the amount 
for which the films have been insured in transit, would, no doubt, 
cover the cost of making the copies but would not include any appre- 
ciable proportion of the cost of producing the original. The assess- 
ment of customs duty has, for over fifteen years now, been made on 
a fixed tariff valuation per foot and at present it is a fixed duty of 
four annas per foot. Presumably, therefore, the Customs authorities 
would not concern themselves with the invoice value of the films 
imported. Since the Indian import offices are, in most cases, affli- 
ates of the New York distribution offices, we were anxious to know 
whether any steps were being taken, or should be taken in future, 
to ascertain whether the value of the picture as declared in the 
licence had any relation to the production cost or to the anticipated 
realisations in this country. We were surprised when we were 
informed that no remittance is made against these invoices and the 
values entered in the invoice are purely nominal. In the circum- 
stances, any control based on these values could not servo as a check 
on the scale of imports or on the liability incurred for remittances 
abroad. We are informed that under an arrangement approved by 
the Ministry of Commerce, distributors of foreign films in India are 
authorised to remit up to W/t of the gross revenue collected in the 

364. Revenue of foreign film importers.— Figures of the revenue 
collections of the major importers of American films are given below 
along with figures of remittances in each of the post-war years. It 
will be noticed that the revenues are dropping very rapidly and that 
the remittances abroad are also correspondingly reduced. This is due 
to the changeover of a large number of cinemas from foreign pictures 
to Indian pictures. In the circumstances, the exhibition of foreign 
films is not very significant as far as competition with the Indian m- 
dustry is concerned. The main point for consideration is the queS'< 
tion of remittances abroad. 


AUjhgwm an m ihoumMiid$ 0 / R$. 













KI 4 


























' B.- 


3.99 ' 




• • 
























• 10,63 

8.66 . 




80 60 

-365. Since, however, there is no effective control at the time of 
importation regarding futiire currency remittances, and since the 
availability of foreign currency, particularly of dollars, is restricted, 
we feel that some effective check must be put on our commitments 
regarding future remittances. In order to be effective, any contnA 
iDuat take into account not merely current imports but also the possi* 
bxlity 'of re-issue of films imported earlier and any arrangement en^ 
tered into should include the provision of a ceiling on the .amounts 
that can be remitted abroad out of earnings In this country. 

366. In the United Kingdom where this problem is of much 
mater importance, an attempt was made some time back to fix a 
lunit on the annual remittances. There was some opposition to this 
tom the USA, and the Motion Pictures Association of America dis- 
continued supplies to the United Kingdom for some time. This 

? ave an artificial boost to the British production industry but affected 
he exhibition sector of the industry rather badly. Later, a fresh 
arrangement was negotiated, which meets to some extent the wishes 
of the American producers without exposing the British producers to 
the effect of uiuestricted competition. The present arrangement 
Contemplates in addition the expenditure in the U.K. of a certain 
liroportion of local earnings on the production of pictures for ho^ 
and export markets. 

367. Cnstoms duty n^Ugible.— The next question for consider- 
ation is whether revenues earned by foreign producers are taxed in 
the same manner and to the same extent as the revenues earned by 
Indian producers and distributors. The present customs duty of 
four annas per foot, though it amounts to a very high percentage of 
the cost of making a copy, is negligible in comparison with the cost 
of producing the originals which, according to published statistics, 
averages about 60 dollars per foot in US and about ax pounds ster- 
ling per foot in the U.K. Inere seems to be no possibility of arriving 
at a reliable basis for estimating the share contributed by India to 
the revenues of foreign producers in respect of any particular flip 
and cotisequently of assessing its actual value to the exporter. 'But 


imports consist not of the copy itself but the privilege of using it to 
earn revenues, and this may suggest a means of estimating the 
'‘value” of the film for purposes of assessing customs duty, ^ere is 
also the question of assessing income-tax on the earnings in this 
country. The point is whether the amount to be remitted abroad, 
diould be treated as expenditure as far as the Indian office is con- 
cerned and as the revenue of the New York office for purposes of 
taxation, or whether the total net revenues in this country would be 
taxed as a whole leaving it to the two parties to decide their respec- 
tive shares. 

S68. Sugg^tions have been made to the Committee that the en> 
tmiainment tax levied on admission to theatres showing foreim pic- 
tures should be at a higher rate than at theatres showing Indian 
pictures, apparently on the lines of the distinction already being 
made in most States between different classes of entertainment We 
are discussing this possibility later, in the section relating to enten 
tainment tax. Another suggestion has been made for the levy of a 
cess on foreign films shown in this country, proceeds of whi^ wo^d 
be used for &e advancement of Indian industry. This, too. is being 
discussed later. 

FUm Ptetribntlon 

369. Taxation.— To the chorus of protests from the Industi^ 
Knerally against the burden of taxation, the distributor too contri- 
butes his voice. The basis for the assessment of income-tax and the 
smortiisation and valuation of pictures, on the basis of 60, 25 and 19 
per cent of the costs, spread over a period of three years, has been 
objected to by the distributors also, and the arguments also proceed 
on the same lines as those of producers. These have already been 
dealt with by us in the Chapter on Production and need not, there- 
fore, be repeated here. The distributors also have protested againsi 
the enhancement of entertainment tax, and argue that cheaper rates 
of admission, resulting in reduction in the tax, would benefit all sec- 
tions of the industry. This is being examined under the head 

370. The distributor usually undertakes post-production publicity 
for pictures. While the cost is proportionately debited to the pro- 
ducer and the exhibitor as the case may be according to the terms of 
die contract, the distributor in the first instance directly bears all 
the expenditure and pays duties incidental to publicity. Some State 
Governments last year decided to impose a surcharge on newspaper 
advertisements. Ine press, as well as the Indian and Eastern News- 
paper Society, protested against this levy on the ground that it would 
m moat cases be shifted by the advertisers to the newspapers ai^ 
vmild consequently decrease the advertisement revenue which is 
die mainstay of newspaper finances. The proposal was subsequently 
^pped. This relief does not seem to apply to film magazines and 
journals probably because they do not belong to the generd news- 

g iper organisation. Film journals have our sympathy in their claim 
at advertisements given to them by film distributors, produwrs or 
exhibitors should not be made to bear any exceptional additional 
levies and surcharges especially as the authorities have thought ii 
wise not to impose this type of tax even on big and established news- 

371. Octroi duties and terminal taxes are paid by the distributors 
as and when a film is sent to any town for exhibition. These duties 
are usually levied on articles of consumption. A film is not a com- 
modity directly consumed, and its utility is not exhausted at a single 
stage of screening. The s^e print is liable to be charged as many 
times as it enters a single town limit and by as many municipalities 
having theatres. Ihe subjection of cinema films to the levy of octroi 
duty cannot be justified as the film clearly is a commodity in transit. 

372. Distributors have also referred to cases where customs duties 
have to be paid by them on films in transit from one State to an- 
other. This hardship appears to have been felt particularly severely 
in Madhya Bharat and Saurashtra. But with the integration of these 
large number of small States and the evolution of a common admi- 
nistrative machinery and a uniform tax structure, these anomalies 
may be expected to be removed soon. These barriers to inter-State 
commerce should be eliminated. 

373. Another tax payable by the distributor is on the storage of 
films. Specially licensed vaults and godowns are built by them for 
this purpose, and license fees are charged by the authorities. The 
licence fee amounts to as much as Rs. 350 for 6,000 lbs. of film. It 
should not be necessary to stress the axiom that in such cases the 
licence fee should not be exploited as a source of revenue; it should 
cover only the overhead charges on the issue of the licence. Con- 
sidering that the issue of the licence does not make it incumbent on 
the authority to provide fire engines op the spot, install automatic 
fire alarms or provide other means for minimising the effect of a fire, 
the charges can only be termed iniquitous. 



374. Exhibition occupies a pre-eminent place in the film indus- 
try, since production and distribution find their fulfilment only when 
the film is made available on the screen for audiences to see, enjoy 
and pay for. The box office returns, that is, the money earned by 
exhibition go to determine ultimately the success or failure of any 
film, and are an index to its popularity. The reputation of producers 
and of artists, as well as the prosperity of the business, in general, 
depends on the results obtained at the exhibition end. Although the 
converse also holds good, in the sense that the appeal of the film is 
decided by the star and production values generally, and the cause 
and effect are inter-related, it is exhibition that must be taken as 
the barometer indicating the climate of the industry as a whole. 

375. As in the case of other aspects of film industry, accurate and 
up to date statistics are not available even in respect of the number 
01 theatres in India. Cinemas are licenced by State officials and 
further Entertainment tax is levied on cinema tickets, by State 
Governments, but we have not been able to obtain statistics from 
them as to the number of cinema houses. Newsreels and documen- 
taries produced by the Films Division of the Government of India 
are being distributed direct to cinema houses in all parts of the 
.country since July, 1949. On the basis of their figures, which may 
perhaps not be quite comprehensive, it has been possible to make an 
estimate of the number of theatres, both permanent and touring, 
and compare the totals with the figures made available from exhibi- 
tors’ associations, and trade journals. According to Films Division 
records, there were a total of 3,238 cinemas in India at the end of 
July, 1950. Of these, 2,394 were permanent cinemas and SM touring. 
As against this, in 1928, there were only 275 cinemas, of which 241 
were permanent and 34 touring. The figures for 1938 were 1,657— 
1,213 permanent, 79 seasonal and 365 touring. At the end of 1948, 
the total number of cinemas was 3003, made up of 2,095 permanent 
and 908 touring. Thus, in the course of twenty years, the number 
of theatres has increased more than ten-fold. Of these cinemas, not 
more than four to five per cent, show foreign pictures exclusively and 
they are to be found only in the larger cities. Some show an English 
picture for one show daily, while the other two or three shows are 
devoted to Indian language films. 

376. It has not been possible to classify the theatres 
on the basis of the language of the films shown. The 
difficulty arises because there are no theatres which are ear- 
marked for particular language films. Thus, in South India many 
picture houses often alternate between Tamil, Telugu and occasion- 
ally Kanarese or Malayalam pictures with Hindi pictures also finding 
place. In Bengal, pictures shown may be either in 'Hindi or Ben- 
gali, though the latter has a preponderance. In the Bombay area, 
Hindi films are generally shown, .but there are also Marathi or 



(^airati films. The “approved” films released by the Films Dlvi> 
Sion are available only in some of the above languages, and the 
preferences of the exhibitors in the middle of 1950 were as follows: 
English 108 Cinemas; Hindi 1,858; Tamil 674; Telugu 324; Bengali 
255. A detailed statement showing the growth of cinemas on a decen- 
nial basis from 1928 to 1950, as w^ as &eir regional distribution is 
found in Appendix XVII. 

377. Compared to the number of cinema theatres, the number of 
Individual exhibitors is very high. This is because in this country 
there are not many exhibitors who control a chain of theatres spread 
over different places. A concern which has its head office in Bombay, 
and which is by far the largest single exhibition circuit, controls 
only sonve 35 cinema houses. According to the Handbook of the 
Indian Film Industry published by the Motion Picture Society of 
India (Bombay), there were, in 1949, only 35 circuits having under 
their management four or more ffieatres. ITiere are also cases 
where producers and distributors themselves directly own or con- 
trol chains of cinema houses. 

378. Exhibitors as a rule do not always own the theatres. Several 
id them may do. but a large majority of them take the theatres on 
lease from building-owners who receive rents for the use of the 
theatre as for any other kind of housing. Exhibitors who^re not 
owners cinema houses, have been prone to shift the responsibility 
to owners whenever the question of bad condition of cinema houses 
ia raised, while those who directly own the theatres, blame the 
government for having placed restrictions on the free availability of 
materials for reconditioning the premises. 

379. The Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association of India is the 
largest organisation operating exclusively in the interests of ex- 
hibitors. It has a membership of 225 representing more than 4M 
cinemas and several prominent owners of circuit theatres all over 
India. The SIFCC and the BMPA have separate sections look±ag 
after exhibition interests. There are also smaller associations in 
Hyderabad, Hubli, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh. Madras. Sau- 
tashtra etc. The Committee sent questionnaires to lOOO exhibitors, 
individuals and associations, and written memoranda were receivea 
from 60. 

The representation made by exhibitors in writing and in the 
course of their oral examination enumerated their grievances against 
distributors but mainly against the Government. In the course of 
their visits to various centres of film industry, the Committee orally 
examined 33 exhibitors. In their oral evidence, some exhibitors 
were, however, properly critical of conditions in the exhibition sectpr 

380. From the point of view of the public, it is exhibition that 
counts first and foremost. The audiences are not aware of the con- 
ditions under which a film is produced and of the factors and agen- 
cies that are concerned with the whole process of bringing the film 
from the studio on to the screen. It is the picture as actually seen 
in the theatre that affects and influences the public. Good filnis 
can be “killed” by bad showmanship, which includes bad theatres. A 
deserving film which might otherwise escape popular attention cfin 
be “put over” by a capable exhibitor. The larger problems ‘ of t&e . 
film in so far as it affects society as well as the utility of the movie 
«s a medium of art, culture and education, arise out of exhibition. 


881. Exhibition means the cinema house, and a cinema house 
means many things— projection, sound, seating arrangements, sani» 
taiy and hygienic conditions and safety from fires and accidents. The 
recreational and entertainment values of the film for the people are 
enhaiKed or diminished by the overall atmosphere of the theatre. 
While a good theatre with a picture of even average production 
values can enhance the feeling of relaxation for the film-goer, a bad 

g atre showing even the mightiest star-studded film, might prove 
ng and leave the audience exhausted at the end of the show. The 
atre is the show window where the products of the film industry 
will be ultimately judged by the public. 

882. In the Chapter on Film and the State, we have dealt in detail 
with the various regulations that the authorities need enforce strictly 
in order that the theatre becomes a place of enjoyment and recre- 
ation. These regulations are incorporated in theatre licences and 
rdate to seating, ventilation, sanitation, precautions against fire 
and other accidents, prevention of unhygienic practices lixe smoking 
and spitting, arrangements for parking vehicles, etc. We have noticed 
ttiat variations exist in different States not only in regard to the 
regulations themselves but also in regard to their enforcement, and 
we have pointed out the defects now evident in both. 

383. While it is the direct responsibility of the State to so regulate 
the conditions of places of public amusement and entertainment as 
to make them satisfactory and the exhibitors must admit this, they 
{ootested against rigidity in enforcement and have had their own 
explanations for not being able to conform to all the regulations. 
They say, for instance, that while the authorities are so scrupulous 
In enforcing all manner of regulations governing theatres, they do 
not at the same time think it proper to relax restrictions on the pur- 
duase of building materials or the supply of electricity. When the 
defect of bad projection is pointed out, the exhibitors again express 
their helplessness and say that Government must come to their* aid 
by liberalising imports of projection room machinery and spare 
parts. The high price of carbons has been repeatedly brought to ouT' 
notice by the exhibitors and they want these to be made available 
to them at moderate rates. When the lack of sanitary arrangements is 
mentioned, the exhibitors blame the municipal authorities for not 
riving them sufficient supply of water. The public are also 
Named for want of hygienic sense and misuse of the theatres by in- 
discriminate eating and spitting. On the question of fire precaution^ 
some exhibitors complained that the relations are so elaborate- 
that by complying with them, the theatre would virtvially be tumedr 
Into a fire station. 

884. The.position of the exhibitors of Indian pictures is particul^ 
ly assailable when it is admitted as a fact that the general standard 
at picture houses showing foreign films is far better, and though it 
la not possible to prove by actual statistics, the returns of the foreign- 
pictures are not by any means more than the takings from Indian 
pictures. In fact, Indian picture houses are usually crowded and in. 
cities, at any rate, the admission rates for higher class seats is about 
the. same for Indian as for foreign pictures. What has been 
po^ible in the ca^ of a small group of theatres whose returns are in 
W>yfay larger than their counterparts showing Indian pictures should 
bit possible in the latteiTcase alio: The plea the exhibitors ban 

'»been that the audiences that attend the showings of imported pic- 
tures are drawn from more educated classes and they do not dirty 
the cinemas in the way that audiences for Indian pictures do. The 
seats in picture houses which screen foreign pictures are priced at 
the same level as seats in the houses which shbw Indian films and in 
some cases the corresponding seats are slightly cheaper in the former 
category. It is not, therefore, a question of the economic strata from 
which the audience is drawn. Some witnesses have suggested that 
it is the existence of cleaner surroundings and better maintenance 
of the theatres which really puts the audience on its best behavioim. 
This appears to be more in accordance with facts and also psychologi- 
cally sound. A man who would not hesitate to spit on a dirty floor 
would certainly show more restraint if the floor and walls were 
clean. We cannot see any Justification for exhibitors denying good 
conditions in theatres. If it means more cost and additional outlay, 
it has to be provided for and tlje exhibitor must be happy to receive 
what is according to normal standards a reasonable return for his 
labour, enterprise and capital investment. In their eagerness to 
visit the cinema, which is now a common means of entertainment, 
the public have shown far too much patience, and suffer without 
demur a situation which reflects the indifference of the exhibitor to 
their feelings. 

385. The average seating capacity of theatres in India is fairly 
high and in consequence the cost of operation should be lower than 
in other countries where smaller theatres are the rule, but even 
though the individual seating capacity of each theatre is high, the 
total seating -capacity available in the majority of cities in the. 
country is rather low compared with the population. It is possible 
that when all restrictions on the construction of new cinemas are 
removed, the natural course of adjustment between supply and 
demand would bring about an improvement in the position. In the 
examination of the regulations applied in various States, we have 
referred to the ban, sometimes indiscriminate, that has been imposed 
on the licensing of new cinemas. This, in our opinion, has caused 
some hardship to the industry. Equally important is the fact that 
it limits the avenues for comparatively harmless amusement that 
are open to the local population. It is quite true that when a new 
cinema is to be licensed, the licensing authority must take into con- 
sideration the suitability of the site. This consideration should be 
undertaken before the construction of the building is sanctioned. 
In this regard, there are really two conflicting factors to be kept in 
mind. When a number of cinemas are operating in a particular area, 
it is natural for one who proposes to build a new cinema to look for a 
site in the same ar^. People who seek amusement get into the 
habit of visiting a particular area, and if they find that one cinema 
-is full or is offering something not to their taste, they would easily 
'drift into a neighbouring cinema. On the other hand, in order to 
•cover a sprawling city properly, particularly where public transport 
4s not very efficient, prospective exhibitors should consider also the 
feasibility of locating the cinemas in the residential areas instead of 
in the shopping area as in the former case. The location of cinemas 
in the cities we have visited shows the effects of both these factors. . 

386. Apart from the permanent cinemas that we have discixssed, 
there are over 800 touring cinemas concentrated mainly in the oom- 
f>aratively milder and rainless disUicts of the South. These cinemi^^ 


are housed very often in canvas tents and move about from place to 
place. The capital invested on such cinemas is low and they offer to 
the rural population at very low cost an amenity which they could 
not hope for if all theatres were to be of masonry construction. 
Moreover, by touring about in a district, these cinemas are able to 
find an audience during all the months of the year that they work 
which would not be the case if they were located permanently at 
any of the snaaller towns on their itinerary. These cinemas, there- 
fore, serve a very useful -purpose which could not be achieved by 
any alternative means. Unfortunately, the restrictions placed on 
these cinemas in many of the States appear to be operating so harsh- 
ly that there has been a large reduction in the number of such 
cinp irms in operation. Nobody would quarrel with the ruling that 
such cinemas ^ould not be located on land used for agriculture, but 
if the rule excludes all land that could be used for agriculture irres- 
pective of the use to which it is being put to just at present, it would 
naturally make it impossible for the exhibitors to find any vacant 
land on which they could pitch their tent. Another restriction has 
been imposed on the migration of cinemas from one district to an- 
other. The administrative boundaries of revenue districts do not 
always have reference to easy transport, and confining cinemas to 
individual revenue districts may sometimes make their working un- 
economical without serving any purposes of the State. 

387. In between these two categories of cinemas come the tem- 
porary cinemas found in large numbers in the eastern part of the 
country. These do not move about as the touring cinemas do, and 
the word “temporary” really applies to the fact that their licences 
are not granted for the usual period of one year but for much shorter 
stretches. The guiding principle in these cases appears to be that if 
the licensing authority considers that the cinema does not confonn 
to the regulations in the matter of amenities to the public or solidity 
of construction, he issues a short-term permit instead of the usual 
one. We can understand such a distinction being made if at the 
same tiitte the exhibitor is called upon to improve the building and 
the renewal of the licence is made conditional upon such improve- 
ment. If, on the other hand, the short-term permits serve only as 
salves of the official conscience and the licence is renewed after 
some haggling at the end of each short period, we really cannot see 
what purpose is achieved. 

388. Exhibitors secure films for screening at their theatres under 
contracts entered into with distributors who hold the rights of screen- 
ing in the particular area. These contracts generally follow the 
standard form of contract devised by the IMPDA and generally pro- 
vide for the distribution of the box office collections between the ex- 
hibitor and the distributor. The amount to be distributed is arrived 
at after deducting the entertainment tax collected on behalf of 
^vernment and also the rentals payable in respect of “approved” 
films compulsorily to be shown. Usually, the residual amount is 
divided equally between the exhibitor and the distributor, but there 
are many exceptions to this general rule. In the case of Indian pic- 
tures which are released for the second time or in the case of 

■ foreign pictures, the distributor’s share is sometimes less than half. 
There are also cases where the producer or distributor who has 
made a name for the entertainment value of his pictures, is able to- 
demand, up to 60% of the net box office collections, and the percent- 
ages mentioned above are often subject to. a slidihg scale whereby 


the distributor’s share of the takings in the second or subsequent 
weeks is gradually reduced but it rarely falls below 40%. Such con- 
tracts on a percentage basis may generally be considered as quite 
equitable to both parties. Owing, however, to the exceptional ctair 
ditions prevailing in certain areas, there are certain special con- 
tracts which have become quite common occurrences nowadays. In 
areas like Bombay City where there is a severe shortage of theatres 
and distributors compete with one another to find screening time for 
the productions on their shelves, it has been possible for theatre- 
owners to insist upon being paid very high sunis as the weekly rental 
tor their theatres irrespective of the money the piqUire may make. 
This development has occurred mainly in the war and post-wiur 
years and has been encouraged mainly by the ban on the construe 
tion of new theatres. It has also been reported to ds that in some 
eases the distributor has been compelled to pay sums over and above 
the rental fixed in order to get the theatre at all, and that these suna 

K id as premia are not generally shown in the books of either par^. 

tviously, this is wmething which cannot be verified without 
laborious enquiry, but there seems to be sufficient basis for suspect- 
ing that such a state of affairs exists. It has been the plea of the 
distributors that the exhibitors should not be permitted to take 
advantage of their property holdings in the cities any more than 
other landlords are and that some restrictions should be placed on 
the amount of rental that could be charged. On the other haniL 
there have been complaints from exhibitors in smaller towns that 
distributors take advantage of the relative shortage of good pictures 
and the competition among cinema-owners to secure them for their 
own theatres. In such cases, the practice seems to be to secure from 
the exhibitor a minimum guarantee of revenue from that particular 
town and quite often, the contract provides that the exhibitor should 
deposit in advance with the distributor a fairly large siun of money 
as security for the fulfilment of the minimum guarantee. It hn 
been reported to us that in many cases these advances and guarantees 
are taken even before the release of the picture and that the ex- 
hibitor is more or less committed blindly to the taking of a picture 
and to the guaranteeing of returns to the distributor long berore he 
has an idea of how the picture is going to turn out. To us, this prae- 
'tice appears to be as undesirable as the practice of charging inordi- 
nate rentals for the theatres. 

389. Another practice in the exhibition trade is the stipulation of 
hold-over fibres. While a theatre may be booked to show a picture 
for a fairly Tong period, say, eight weeks, there is an understanding 
between the distributor and the exhibitor that if in any week the 
eollectiolis at the box office fall below an agreed figure, the pictum 
should be immediately taken off the screen. Alternatively, tne Ox^ 
liibitors insist upon what are known as house protection figures and 
when the share of the exhibitor falls below the amount agreed upon 
In this connection, the picture is taken off the screen and another 
released instead. It was the view of one of the leading producers 
that to some extent the fixing of high figures for hold-over . really 
ensures the survival of the fittest among the productions add 
that in the context of limited screening facilities a high holdover 
figure is as good an arrangement as any other for ensuring that pie- 
tures are taken off the screen as soon as they fail to draw a large 
audience. There is no doubt some validity in this argument, but tt 
must not be forgotten that some pictures of undoubted merit fail t» 


draw good audiences in the first week or two and it is only after ex* 
tensive word-of-mouth publicity from people who have seen it tw 
crowds are really drawn to the theatre. The enforcement of hi^ 
hold-over figmres would mean that such pictures are withdrawn from 
the screen before they have had a chance of success. We believe tti« 
it has been the practice of certain producers or distributors who bad 
full faith in their productions to pad the houses during the early and 
difficult wdeks by buying up a large number of tickets and distribut* 
ing them among their friends and acquaintences. The necessity for 
such an arrangement would, in our opinion, vitiate any advantages 
that high hold-over figures might have. 

390. In order to ensure that the films handled by them riioold 
never lack exhibition facilities, it has been the practice of certain 
distributors and sometimes of certain producers too, to enter into 
long-term arrangements with the owners of theatres for the ex- 
clusive screening of their own releases. Though in India there do 
not exist large chains of theatres owned or controlled by a single 
firm or individual as in other countries, this practice of long-term 
contracts or understandings between distributors and exhibitors has 
really the effect of creating such chains more or less under the con* 
trol of the distributor. It would appear that it is only because ot 
the comparatively limited resources of the producers and distribu- 
tors here that there are not more cases of theatres controlled from 
the distribution end. There are a few cases where theatre circuits 
engage also in the distribution trade and handle films not merely for 
their own houses but also for others. It is difficult to generalise from 
the few cases that have been brought to our notice but it would 
appear more satisfactory and in the interests of the trade as A 
whole if the functions of distribution and exhibition are kept 

Employment in Cinemas 

391. The people employed in cii^mas fall roughly into two cate- 
gories. On the one hand, we have the technical staff looking after 
toe electrical installations, air-conditioning where it exists, aitd 
^ projection ^uipment. On the other hand, we have the staff 
engaged on the issue of tickets, attendance on the audiences and 
general maintenance of the building and auditorium. Both cate- 
gories of staff come today under the provisions of the Shops aiiid 
l^blishments Act in the various States. 

892. In the case of the technical staff, the regulations in certain 
States require that the people in charge of the projection equip- 
ment should have receivM some technical training and obtainra a 
certfficate testifying to their knowledge. Judging, however, from 
the quality of the projection of so\md at a number of cinemas that 
we have visited, it would appear that the standard of the test is not 
adequate and far from uniform in most of the States. There are a 
few institutions where training of a sort is given in the handling of 
cinema equipment but we have found great disparities in standards 
even in the areas where such institutions exist. In other cases, the 
enly training that the operatcar seems to have received was a long 
penod of apprenticeship on a lowly wage in toe daeiM iteell 


393. In the case of the non-technical staff, great use seems to be 
made of part-time workers. People engaged in other occupations, 

' mainly clerical workers, appear to be seeking and finding employ- 
ment as part-time attendants at the box office or in the auditorium. 

The result of this practice has been that the box office is manned 
only for a short time before each show is due to commence and suit- 
able facilities for advance bookings cannot be provided. Moreover, 
it would appear to be getting round the intention of the^ State when 
it prescribes the maximum number of hours for which a person can 
undertake employment under another. There is another factor in 
the matter of such employment which requires consideration. It has , 

been the plea of certain exhibitors that since the box office attendant, 
for instance, is working only for a short time before the commence- 
ment of each show, there should be no objection if his total employ- 
ment is spread over a longer period than that prescribed in the 
local Act. 

394. Projection quality.— However well a film may have been 
photographed, however artistic it may be, the cinema-goer will be 
unable to derive any pleasure therefrom imless the projection appara- 
tus at the cinemas is satisfactory. Similarly the best music and re- 
cording would fail in their purpose if the sound reproduction appa- 
ratus in the cinemas is not maintained in proper condition. The 
growing use of colour demands projectors of higher efficiency and 
greater illuminating power while the recent developments in sound 
recording make more exacting demands of the reproduction equip- 
ment. It has been the complaint of many producers that owing to 
the defects in the projection equipment, they are frequently com- 
pelled to produce copies suitable for out-of-date and inferior pro- 
jectors. Such copies necessarily have to be of a lower technical 
merit than those prepared for theatres with greater range of repro- , 
duction. This handicap on the improvement of technical standards 
all round should, in our opinion, be removed. One well-known actor 
suggested that there should be a means of checking the cinema 
equipment periodically to see that it is of the requisite standard and 
is also kept in proper condition. Exhibitors to whom we put this 
question expressed their unwillingness to be subordinated to one 
more set of official inspectors whom they would have to satisfy or 
mollify. Importers of equipment should normally take up this ques- 
tion of maintaining in proper working condition the equipment that 
they supply but this does not appear to be a regular practice except 
in those rare cases where the equipment is supplied on a rental 
basis. The usual practice seems to be that, when the results achieved 

are not as good as in neighbouring theatres but have deterioratod to * 

a point when the audience begins to complain, the theatre owner 
orders a set of new equipment to replace the old. The result 
of this practice is that before the change the technical achievements 
of the producer have been misrepresented on the screen for quite > 

some time, and the final change is also a heavy drain on the purse 
of the theatre-owner. Periodical tests with proper test equipment 
should eliminate the former and reduce the occasions where the 
latter would be necessary. 

395. Distributors have also complained about damage to copies 
resulting from their being run on projectors in poor coixdition. A 
leading Association of Distributors felt that the bulk of their work 
consisted in arbitrating between distributors and exhibitors in di^ 
putes about such damage. Considering that all raw film at present 


has to be imported from abroad, any measures that would reduce 
damage to copies, whether at present the distributor is paying for 
that or the exhibitor, should be in the best interests of the country. 

396. Length of films. — One of the most controversial issues in 
connection with films has been the question of what their length 
shoiUd be. We are discussing it in connection with exhibition 
because the present restrictions have their origin in the exhibition 
sector of the industry. Some time back, it was suggested on behalf 
of the Films Division of the Government of India that, if the length 
of feature films was restricted, it would provide screening time for 
coinpulsoiy showing of “approved” films, produced mainly by that 
Division. This suggestion was accepted by the Government of 
In^a and instructions were issued to all State Governments that 
this should be enforced by adding a clause in the licence issued to 
cinemas that only films of a length not exceeding 11,000 feet should 
be shown. There was some doubt about the validity of such a clause 
in the licence and also whether such a clause could have retrospec- 
tive effect if added to a licence previously issued. As a different 
means of securing the same end, Censor Boards were thereupon 
instructed by the States Governments not to issue certificates to 
films exceeding the prescribed length unless prior sanction of the 
State Governments had been obtained in each case by the pro- 
ducer. All Part A States except Madras have adopted this restric- 

397. Dr. Mono Mohan Das put a question in the Constituent 
Assembly of India (Legislative) on the 12th December 1949 asking 
for information about the decision of the Government of India in 
this matter and their reasons for arriving at such a decision. The 
Hon’We Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting replied 
that it had been decided that the length of feature films and trailers 
passed for exhibition should be restricted to a maximum of 11,000 
feet and 400 feet respectively. The objects of the restriction, which 
he said the State Governments had already been asked to enforce, 
were stated to be (i) to effect economy in the consumption and 
consequently in the import of raw film and (ii) to reduce the cost 
of production of films and possibly improve the quality of tlxe films 
It was also mentioned that the time thus saved would be available 
for showing educational and informational shorts as different from 
feature films. In the supplementary questions that were put on the 
•occasion the following points were raised ; — 

(a) Whether this limit had been placed in order to save dollars 

and what the total length of film was which the Govern- 
ment hoped to save by the restriction; 

(b) whether Government had taken into consideration the 

recommendations of the South Indian Film Chamber on 
this subject; 

(c) wlwther the consumers' “propensities” or “proclivities” had 

been taken into consideration, particularly in view of 
the fact that in Madras where there is a large number 
of cinenaas both touring and stationary, the demand of 
the public is for films longer than 11,000 feet; 

(d) whether the industry itself had asked for this restriction; 

7 M of IB— 10 


(e) whether Goverxunent had taken into consideration the 

fact that a large length of raw film is wasted in the pro- 
duction stage and that by a mere restriction on footage 
of films there could not be much saving in raw film; 

(f) whether the Film Enquiry Committee had been asked to 

examine this matter; 

(g) whether there was any need for Government to anticipate 

the recommendations of the Film Enquiry Committee; 

(h) whether Government Would stay the implementation of 

their decision until the report of the Committee is 

398. Most of the witnesses who had appeared before the Com- 
mittee had something to say on this matter. Several new points 
were also raised by them in addition to those raised on the floor of 
the Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative). 

399. On the question of preference of the public, the evidence of 
exhibitors who were most directly in contact with public opinion was 
preponderatingly in favour of longer films. This applies not merely 
to Madras where, as had been ^inted out on the floor of the House, 
the largest group of cinemas in the country are situated, but also 
to Bombay where the maximum number of films are produced. The 
opinion oi a number of producers also, including many who have 
been known for the technical standard of their productions as well 
as for success at the box office, was that the limit prescribed by 
Government was too low and that, if any limit should be prescribed 
at all, it should be about 20% higher. The demand from Madras 
was, of course, for still longer pictures. 

400. On the question of saving of raw film, the evidence merely 
tended to support what had been hinted at in the Constituent 
Assembly by Shri O. V. Alagesan that the amount of raw film used in 
the production of a picture is very large, and that the saving in the 
final length would not be productive of substantial economies, par- 
ticularly when most of the film used in production is the ex- 
pensive negative film and there is no restriction on the use of raw 
film in production. That the restriction has failed to have the effect 
of reducing the consumption of raw film is obvious from the figures 
of total consumption and of the number of films produced in each 
year quoted in Chapters VHI and V respectively. It was even con- 
tended in the evidence that the imposition of restriction would of 
itself lead to greater expenditure of raw film since, in order to s 
achieve economies in the ultimate copy, some scenes would have to 

be taken several times over in different ways in order to get at the 
briefest possible presentation. As a means of cutting down the con- 
sumption of raw film, the restriction has proved ineffective. ^ 

401. On the possibility that the quality of films would be im- 
proved by the restriction, we naturally put a large number of ques- 
tions to the witnesses. Their evidence appears to discount the possi- 
bility and, if at all, to imply that the restriction has had a detrimen- 
tal effect on the quality. The argument both of producers and of 
widely read authors and playwrights has been that a certain amount 
of music is considered necessary for the success of a picture and 
that the restriction of length leaves place only for . the music amf 
crowds out the essentials of the story. It is no doubt true that » 


number of long films that have been made in this country have 
proved to be boring, particularly to the more cultured sections of 
the audience, but looking also at the films that have been produced 
within the specified length, we are inclined to the view that the 
defects in all these cases could be ascribed more to the deficiencies 
of the story and of the producers rather than to the length of the 
^ pictures. Witnesses have quoted, in support of their plea for the 

* removal of restrictions, instances of a number of outstanding pro- 
ductions of Hollywood and of England which exceed the limit fixed 
by the Government of India by a very considerable margin. This 
would not of course prove that long films are good, any more than 

• the large number of recent Hops prove that short films are worthless. 
The essential factor is, of course, the story and other elements that 
go into the picture, and the chances of a good combination of these do 
not in any way seem to be related to the length of the picture. As 
a measure for improving the quality of pictures, the restriction on 
length has not proved effective nor does it hold out any hope for the 

402. A point which has been stressed by producers is that in India 
it is essential to provide, in each film, a certain variety of appeal 
which would ensure popularity with different sections of the audience. 
The result is that almost every picture produced in India contains 
not merely music and dances but also a few humorous episodes, some 
of brisk action and one or two incidents which provide some thrills 
for the audience. Granting that all these elements have to be put 
into the picture, it would seem inevitable that, if the total length be 
restricted, certain other factors such as dramatic unity and elegance 
of presentation would perhaps be impossible to achieve. The ques- 
tion, really, is whether with a restriction on the length it would be 
possible to produce films which would satisfy the people, and not 
merely the critics. 

403. The solution that exhibitors in other countries have 
apparently arrived at in order to keep their houses full is to show 
two pictures at the same time. Usually they balance the two pic- 
tures so that one is a straight photoplay or sophisticated drama while 
the other is invariably a musical comedy or a “Western,” and so on. 
The Indian producer and distributor evidently prefer the present 
practice of putting all the nine rasas into one picture. To those who 
have got used to the Western style of presentation, such mixtures 
would perhaps appear strange but it must not be forgotten that 
in this country the conventional plan for dramas contemplates 
such variety. Even in the case of U.S. and U.K. productions, 
the concession is generally made to the audicrice of enliven- 

^ ing the show by changing the tempo frequent’;/ and by introducing 
music or dances where convenient. If the reasons underlying the 
cut in length are to ensure unity and homogeneity in the production, 

. we can only say that these cannot possibly be achieved by such a 

♦ measure. 

404. Restriction of the length in order to provide screening time 
for the educational films and shorts would appear laudable were it 
not for the fact that the Government itself is the major and almost 
sole producer of such films at present, which, in our view, deprives 
the measure of a great deal of its propriety. The essential point, 
however, is that there is no restriction on the total length of a show, 
and it is open to any exhibitor to show two pictures in each show. 
As long as the length of the show is left to the convenience of the 


exhibitor and his patrons, there does not seem to be much force in 
the argument that reduction of the length of the feature picture 
makes screening time available for the exhibition of shorts. 

405. It has been said to be the view of the Government that res^ 
triction on the length would effect a saving in production costs. This 
appears to imply a rather mechanistic approach to the whole problem 
of film production and an assumption that the cost of the film is 
proportionate to the length, an assumption which has not been 
supported either by the evidence of the producers or by "statistics 
relating to past productions. We have discussed in Chapter V the 
basis of the producer’s budget, where the length of the film plays no 
part of any significance. 

406. It has been argued on behalf of some producers that films in 
the Indian languages, particularly in some of them, have necessarily 
to be of greater length than similar films in English. The argument 
has been that in cases where the dialogue is in the Indian languages, 
the time taken to delineate a particular story is much greater than 
in English and they have quoted as an example the fact that in the 
news bulletins of All India Radio an English script ‘Of 2,400 words 
can be announced in fifteen minutes but it is cut down by 15% to 30% 
before it is translated into Indian languages for announcing, because 
more could not be accommodated within the same period of time. 
There is also force in the argument that the people who see Indian 
pictures do not have the same homogeneity of background and the 
same depth of educational teaming which would enable them to 
grasp symbolic and stylised presentations as are permissible in an 
English film. 

407. The conclusion is, therefore, forced upon us that restriction 
of the length of a picture, particularly to the figure now enforced 
in most of the States, unaccompanied by any measures for the iin- 
prcvement of the films, would fail to achieve either a rise in standards 
or a reduction in cost, that no effective reduction will be achieved in 
the consumption of raw film and that, if at all the resti iction pro- 
duces any effect, it would be to hamper the more imaginative and 
creative of the producers now in the country. 

408. Entertaiiunent tax: Present tariffs.— A large number of 
anomalies are created by the present method of assessing the tax 
on the basis of the net amount paid to the theatre-owner instead of 
on the gross amount paid by the public. The table below shows the 
amount that would fall to the share of the film industry if the tickets 
were sold for round sums ranging from 4 annas to Rs. 3: — 

Price of tickets j 








Kb . A . P . 

Kb . a. p. I 

Kb . a. p . 

Kb . a. p . 

Kb . a f. 

Kb . a. p . 

Kb . a. p . 











0— 4 r — 0 








O *— 12— 0 

— i 


















.. i 




1 — 4—0 

0 — 16—0 

1 — 0—0 

0 - 13-4 

1 — 0-0 

1 - 0-0 

0 — is— 4 



1 - 0—0 



1 -- 0 — 0 

1 — 2—0 

1 — 2—6 

1 - 2—8 

1--4 -0 

1 — 2—8 

2 — 0—0 

1 — 6 — 0 

1 — 5-_.0 




1 - 8—0 

i - 6— 4 

2 — 8—0 

1 — 14—0 

1 — 10—6 

1 — 10—8 

l _ 14 -.p 

2 ~ 0— 0 

1_,10 - 0 

3 — 0—0 


2 — 0—0 

2 — 0—0 

2 — 4—0 





409. The blank spaces in the tabular statement indicate the 
anomalous cases where it would not be possible to allocate the share 
between Government and the industry. These anomalies arise out 
of the method of fixing the tax on a slab system based on the net 
share of the theatre. The tariff in the U.K. on which presumably 
the Indian tariffs are based, also gives rise to a large number of 
cases of what the British trade calls “impracticable” admission prices. 

410. Taxes and admission prices. — ^The figures of tax«collections 
from a luxury theatre in Bombay, which were made available to the 
Committee, are very illuminating. This theatre has a very large 
proportion of highly-priced seats. The total takings over a period 
of roughly one year amounted to Rs. 18,80,350 on which the tax was 
Rs. 4,73,133. The tax worked out, therefore, to an average of 25 per 
cent, on the box-office collections. From an examination of the 
Bombay tariff, it is obvious that the price of the tickets should have 
been fixed in each case at the maximum of each step, for otherwise 
the proportion of 3 to 1 between the shares of the theatres and the 
Government could not have been maintained. Irrespective of the 
economics of the theatre, the variety of seating provided and the 
class of clientele, the tickets have been priced at rates dictated by a 
tariff which has Iseen framed for the whole State and could not have 
special suitability for any one of the cities or the localities in each 
city. The same practice is followed at every theatre in each State, 
prices being fixed according to taxation slabs. The result is that in 
many cases the exhibitor whose working costs have gone up, say by 
20 per cent., is compelled to increase his charges by 50 per cent, in 
order to get the slight increase that he is entitled to. 

411. For instance, imder the present tariff, if a Bombay exhibitor 
wishes to raise his share of the admission price from 0-4-0 to 0-6-0 he 
will have to raise the price of the ticket from 0-5-0 to 0-8-6, and 
similarly at Delhi, an increase from 1-0-0 to 1-4-0 in the net value 
would mean an increase from 1-4-0 to 1-12-0 in the price of the ticket. 

412. There are some local practices which vary from one area to 
another but which in the present circumstances have caused concern 
to the exhibitor. One of them is the issue of complimentary passes 
to distinguished visitors, to advertisers who exhibit slides in the 
cinemas, eta The entertainment tax regulations in many .of the 
States require that even in the case of these complimentary passes 
the tax on the class of ticket for which the passes are issued should 
be paid to the Government. In view of the nature of the persons to 


whom such passes are issued, the burden of paying tex 
the exhibitor. In one or two States the Local (^vernment Iwve 
exempted a certain number of seals in each class of accommodation 
from the operation of this rule when complimentary ticlrets are 
issued; the exhibitor can issue complimentary passes up to this num- 
ber without incurring tax liability. The conditions which the Local 
Governments have prescribed in such cases relating to the issue of 
passes include also the registration of the names of' the people to 
whom iiie passes have been issued. Presumably it is the intention 
of the Local Governments to discourage the practice of issuing such 
passes to the employees of Government, particularly the police. To 
this extent, some exhibitors have welcomed these ro.les, while others 

complain that the procedure is irksome. 

413. It has also been represented to us that cinema owners are 
very often asked to hold shows for the benefit of this or that charity 
and that such requests come either from the licensing authorities, 
i.e. the District Magistrates, or from the enforcement authorities, 
the police, making it almost impossible for them to refuse such 
requests. Their case has been that this practice arose during the 
war when such benefit shows were held more or less under compul- 
sion in aid of war charities or the Provincial Governors’ War Fund, 
and that wen today the practice is being, continued though not 
necessarily*in aid of State-sponsored charities. 

414. The most important aspects of exhibition in which there is 
considerable variation from one area to another is in the procedure 
for issuing tickets, particularly to the cheaper categories of seats. 
In a number of towns it has been the practice of the exhibitors to 
keep the box office closed till it is nearly time for the show. The 
reason for this has. been ascribed to their desire to collect large 
crowds in front of the theatre in order to popularise the picture then 
nmning and also to-enable them to employ part-time servants in the 
booking office who can turn up late for their duties. Whichever the 
reasons may be, there is no doubt that there are heavy crowds out- 
side the cinemas when popular pictures are being shown resulting 
very often in disturbances to the peace. In certain cities, e.g.. 
Bangalore, the police insist upon posting men outside the theatre 
because of this habit of collecting crowds, and the cost of the men 
detailed for such duty is recovered from the theatre owner in the 
form of a police tax. In Calcutta, traffic police are posted for 
special duty outside cinemas and the charges for these men are 
recovered from the exhibitors. In a few cities, proper arrangements 
have been made for the visitors to queue up at the box office to 
purchase tickets, but such arrangements do not exist at all the 
popular theatres. In Calcutta the complaint was made to us that in 
the absence of proper queueing arrangements at the theatre itself, 
the queue extends along the pavements blocking access to the houses 
and shops in the neighbourhood and causing considerable incon- 
venience to the public. Such difficulties are invariably due to the 
bad siting of the cinemas in small plots where the necessary space 
cannot be provided for the accuinmulated crowds. 

415. The direct consequence of these difficulties in securing 
tickets has been the growth of black-marketing of tickets. People 
who could spare the necessary time to come early or who do not 
mind strugghng through big crowds in order to secure tideets manage 


to get hold of large numbers of tickets which they sell outside at 
an excess price to those who are not prepared to scramble for the 
.tickets. Efforts have been made at some of the major cities to put 
down this evil. Attempts to restrict the number of tickets sold to 
any person have not always been successful even though some 
theatre owners went to the extent of stamping each person with a 
rubber stamp in indelible ink on the back of his hand when he 
bought ticket, in order to distinguish those who have already bought 
tickets. Even this practice has not been able to eliminate the evil. 

416. It is no doubt true that the practice of such blackmarketing 
is prevalent in other countries also and measures to stamp it out 
have not been successful there either. This applies not merely to 
the seats in the cheaper classes which are not numbered but also 
to the more expensive seats which are numbered, and the practice 
is prevalent at sporting events, dramatic performances, etc. as weU 
as in cinemas. Bombay has attempted police regulation of this 
matter by making it an offence to sell tickets otherwise than at 
licensed places. In Calcutta it is understood that the police have 
found themselves without the necessary powers and the Home De- 
partment is examining the possibility of legislation vesting powers 
in the police. 



417. Imports of raw film.— The supply of raw film at reasonable 
prices and in adequate quantity is a basic requirement of the 
fndxistry. Before the war, the supply was received on a competitive 
basis and manufacturers vied with one another in turning out a 
better product and in offering better technical aid to the user. While 
the annual consumption of raw film rose steadily from about 21 
million feet in 192'’-30 to over 74 million feet in 1938-39, the average 
price per foot dropped from Rs. -040 in 1928-29 to Rs. *034 in 1938-39, 
a drop of 15 per cent, (vide table below). 

Imports of raw film 



U. K. 






Italy and 

C. I. F. 

1929 30 


















1931 <32 








1932 33 
















1934 35 



























34% ! 














418. Supplies continued to come in fairly freely in 1939-40, though 
the elimination of Germany and Belgium from the list of sources 
led to some difficulty, making it necessary for U.S. and U.K. to step 
up deliveries. After Pearl Harbour it became increasingly di^ult 
to obtain the quantities required, and in the meanwhile the needs 
of the Defence Services were Rowing, 

419. An increasing quantity was needed also j^or propaganda films. 
Consequently, even though supplies were maintained at about tiie 



same level as before the war (vide table below) the industry could’ 
secure only a part of their requirements. 






j U. K. 




U. S, A. 

Canad a 

1 Japan 


0. 1. F. 













70 02S,58l 






















31,09,739 - 
















1945 40 






1 29,06,438 

420. War-time restrictions and controls. — In 1942, the necessity 
was obvious for taking all practicable measures to ensure economy 
and avoid wastage. As a first step, a notification was issued in May, 
1942 (amended in August 1942) prohibiting, under the Defence of 
India Rules, the production or exhibition of any film exceeding 11,000 
ft. in length, the production or exhibition of any trailer of a film 
exceeding 400 feet in length, and the exhibition of more than one 
trailer in any one show. No restriction was considered necessary on 
the number of prints produced. Still it was hoped that restriction of 
the length of feature films and trailers would lead to a reduction of 
at least 20 per cent, in the consumption of raw film. An “incidental 
advantage” expected from the restriction was the securing of time 
for the exhibition of war propaganda films. 

421. By 1943, the supply position had deteriorated, and it was 
decided to control the distribution of raw film. A new order under 
the Defence of India Rules, issued in July, 1943, placed certain 
further restrictions on production and exhibition. The production 
of trailers was banned, the total length of each show was restricted 
to 14,500 ft., of which the main feature was to be not more than 
11,000 ft., and war propaganda films of not less than 2,000 ft., were 
to be included. Another order introduced registration of sellers of 
raw film and licencing of users. Supplies could be obtained only 
against licences, and users had to submit returns showing the pur- 
pose for which the film was used. 

422. The system of control gave rise to the familiar complaints- 
of evasion. Reports came in of transactions which amounted to sale 
of licences, of undeclared stocks with producers Cnd others which 
were being sold in the black market, of the lack of any check on 
the consumption returns, and of loopholes in the control order. 
Financing arrangements in the film industry were always so nebulous - 
that it was not easy to distinguish between the addition of new 
partners as financiers and the almost total sale of all rights in the- 
production licensed. The Civil Supplies Department had no outdoor 
staff to spare for checking the use of quantities allotted under licence- 
or the resale of quantities saved out of the allotment. There was no- 


■power to revoke a licence even if malpractices could be proved. It 
was decided to adopt measures for tightening controls and, at the 
same time, constitute a Film Advisory Committee, with which the 
industry was to be associated, to keep under review the working of 
the controls. This Committee functioned, in a fashion till June 1945, 
■when it resigned. 

42;i. Post-war demand for more film.— The control of the distri- 
bution of raw film ended shortly after the war. and the production 
■ of I'cature films doubled immediately in volunre and continued to 
grow. The cinema-going habit had spread to a larger section of the 
population, helped undoubtedly by changing economic conditions 
and by the much larger urban population. More cinemas had also 
come into being in different parts of the country. The industry has 
been clamouring for larger supplies of raw film which the suppliers 
have been unable to meet and there were repeated complaints of 
profiteering. This has happened in spite of the fact that during the 
post-war years, imports of raw film have nearly doubled in quantity 
' {vide table below). 

Imports of raw film 


F rjtago 

i j 

IT. K. 1 





USA ttnd 

1 Japan 

[ T.jtal 























4% j 





1940 50 



_ ■ 




It will be noticed from the figures above that prices have been 
rising since the end of the war and the average at the end of the 
period is about 25 per cent, higher than at the beginning. The full 
effect of devaluation has not been reflected in figures and the 
average cost is likely to be much higher in 1950-51. The quantity 
imported has also increased very much. There is no doubt that the 
number of films produced in this country has increased very largely 
in the post-war years. Published figures of annual production show 
an average of about 170 films in the years 1937 to 1941, which was 
gradually cut down to less than 100 in 1945. In the next year, with 
the cessation of controls, production shot up to 200 films, and subse- 
quently has been maintained at about 280 per year. There has also 
been an increase in the number of cinemas in the country from about 
1,300 in 1939 to nearly double that number in 1946 with a consequent 
increase in the number of copies required of each film. Moreover, 
cinemas which formerly used to exhibit foreign films were changing 
over to the exhibition of Indian films and this contributed to swell 
the demand for more copies of each film. Further, the published 
figures of production include only those films which have been 
released and takes no account of films on which woric was disconti- 
mued before completion or of the films which, thou^ completed, were 
not screened for various reasons. A substantial quantity of filr^ 
.aj^ars to have been used for these infructuous productions. 


424. The questionnaire issued by the Committee at the end of 
1949 called for information regarding the requirements of the 
industry and the effect of the present methods of distribution. 
Answers to these particular questions were received only from a 
section of the industry and it was not possible to form a complete 
picture of the position. It was clear that shortage and profiteering 
existed, though there was no means of assessing the extent of the 
shortage or the methods by which speculators were able to obtain 
stocks. When the Committee visited different production centres for 
the purpose of taking oral evidence, it became evident that supplies 
were exceedingly short and that this sliortage was causing consider- 
able diihculty in production as well as adding to the costs. In the 
course of the session at Bombay during May, 1950, importers told 
the Committee that their factories were capable of supplying more 

• and that the chief reason for the shortage was the delay in issuing 
import licences. They were convinced that if import of raw film 
was placed under Open General Licence, it would be possible for 
them to import adequate stocks, 

425. By a notification dated 5th August, 1950 raw film, along with 
certain raw materials for other industries, was permitted to be 
imported under O.G.L, from soft currency areas upto 31st December, 
1950. But in the meanwhile the stock position had become critical, 

• and it became necessary to examine the extent to which this step 
would provide immediate relief, and the measures to be adopted 
for ensuring equitable distribution, and preventing supplies from 
getting into the hands of profiteers. Representatives from the 
associations of producers and distributors at Bombay, Madras and 
Calcutta as well as importers of the main makes of cinematograph 
film were therefore invited to meet the Film Enquiry Committee 
and the matter was fully discussed at Delhi on the 16th August. 

426. Kequiiremeiits of the market. — On the question of quantities 
required, opinion was more or less unanimous among the consumer 
associations that an average of 7.50,000 ft. of film (including picture 
negative, sound negative, positive, etc.) would be required for each 
picture and that market requirements should be estimated on the 
basis of 280 feature films being produced in the next year. The 
footage per picture has been arrived at by them on the following 


Kegativo GO, 000 

Sound 70.000 

Positive (for rushes) 80.000 

Positive (for 4 0 0 ;;»pie8) .520 ,000 

Misoellane.ius 20,000 

Total 750,000 

“On this basis, the production of 280 features per year would require 
a supply of 210 million ft. To this would have to be added the 
requirements of the Films Division which amount lo about 15 million 
ft. as well as the requirements of the Defence Services. The repre- 
'sentatives of the industry felt that a target of 240 million ft. may be 
aimed at. The importers are, however, doubtful whether the 
industry would be 'able to take up all this quantity. 


427. Availability from soft currency areas.— In the present 
situation where the currencies of some manufacturing countries are: 
relatively in much shorter supply than others, the supply position 
has necessarily to be examined with reference to this factor. 
According to the figures given by the importers, the H.K. would be 
able to export 160 million ft. to India, Eastern Germany another 
60 million ft. and Belgium a further 60 million ft. These figures are 
considerably in excess of the actual imports during the current year,- 
or even tlie expected imports during the last quarter of this year, 
when the imports would be under Open General Licence. The- 
importers, however, say that the factories require notice, some 
months in advance, of the quantities required to be shipped and it is 
because of this that they have been unable to ship larger quantities 
during these three months. 

420. It would seem that just as the consumer associations are 
inflating the figures of estimated demand, the importers also are 
inclined to be optimistic in the figures of estimated deliveries. But 
the number of cinemas in the country is increasing, however slowly, 
and obstacles in the way of touring cinemas are also being removed, 
and so there is the possibility of the industry consuming the esti- 
mated quantity of 240 million feet provided no restriction is placed 
on the use of raw film. On the other hand, unless production, 
capacity is enlarged on a very large-scale both in the U.K. and on. 
the continent, it seems doubtful whether the full quantity promised • 
can be imported from this area. There is also the risk that supplies 
from Eastern Germany, which are subject to priority demands from 
Soviet Russia, may fall short of present expectations. In this connec- 
tion, it may be mentioned that the U.K. Board of Trade have recent- 
ly approached the industry for assistance in investigating the raw 
film requirements of the country. The manufacturers of raw film 
are reported to be unable to meet any increased demand, and in the 
circumstances, there is the possibility that the Board may have to 
reimpose war-time restrictions on the use of raw film. 

429. Import control. — The importers are unanimously of the* 
opinion that the delays that seem inevitable under any licensing- 
system will lead to frequent periods of scarcity particularly in the 
case of a commodity like raw film which is made more or less to the 
importer’s order. 'This periodical break in shipments arises because 
licences are issued only very shortly before the period for which they 
are valid (and sometimes after that particular period has commenced)* 
while the manufacturers have to plan their production very much in. 
advance if deliveries are to flow smoothly from the factory to the- 
ports in India. If a licensing system is to be adopted, it is essential 
that all licences for the whole of a year should be granted before 
the end of October in the preceding year. There are however two- 
important factors, (1) the limited manufacturing capacity and (2). 
the reluctance of importers to hold large stocks of such a highly 
perishable commodity, which preclude any possibility of large stocl^ 
being dumped on this market. There appears, therefofe, to be no 
risk in keeping the item under Open General Licence, while there is- 
the possibility of a slight benefit in that consumers would not be so> 
inclined to hoard excessive quantities as at present, if they knowr 
that raw film can be imported under Open General Licence. 


430. Colonr film.— The figures of footage and costs given above 
refer to the usual black-and-white film, and colour film will have 
to be considered separately. It is not possible to compare directly 
the colour-processes and film offered by the different manufacturers 
^ they are based on different principles and are to be used different- 
ly. The process that has appealed to Indian producers as suited to 
local requirements is the use of tri-colour monopack film that can 
be used in the usual black-and-white cameras and processed to make 
a three-colour picture. From this, additional three-colour copies are 
made by printing processes similar to those for black-and-white film. 

431. It is difficult to estimate the quantity of colour film that is 
likely to be needed, as this would depend upon the success of the 
process, in the studios and laboratories, as well as on the extent of 
support from the public. In the U.S.A. and U.K., the use of colour 
film is at present confined to musicals, westerns and historical or 
“costume” pictures. Straight drama, thrillers and comedies, whose 
stories are laid in the world of today, where men and women dress 
and sometimes even behave like, real men and women, are invariably 
filmed in black and white. This might lead to the inference that 
colour film finds its most useful application in pictures which make 
no pretence of realism. On the other hand one might argue also 
that the use of colour lends so much attraction to a film that with 
its aid even feeble stories such as are used for musicals and westerns 
can be successful at the box office. The real reason behind the 
limited use of colour appears to lie elsewhere. In the U.S.A., fhe 
only colour process available on a commercial basis till recently was 
Technicolor. The equipment needed for it and the method of mak- 
ing copies are not merely elaborate and costly, but was controlled 
as a tight monopoly, and studios that wished to use the process were 
compelled to submit to extremely severe terms. The position was 
so unsatisfactory that the U.S. Government was forced to take action 
under the Anti-trust Acts in order to make the process available at 
more reasonable rates and under less onerous conditions. The judge- 
ment of the Supreme Court in this matter was delivered only recently 
and it is too soon to say what effect this would*have on the propor- 
tion of films in colour. On the other hand, the experience in Soviet 
Europe with the comparatively simpler and cheaper Agfa process has 
resulted in the decision to make 80 per cent, of the films in colour, 
as already mentioned. Colour, like sound, is part of the realism of 
presentation and it seems inevitable, with the development of the 
processes and improvement in emulsions, that ultimately all films 
would be made only in colour. A pointer in this direction is the the substandard field for amateur use. Here, according 
to the evidence of the manufacturers,. 80 per cent, of the film used 
is colour-film even though black-and-white film is cheaper, faster 
and easier to work with. 

432. Sources of supply.— We may, therefore, expect that as Indian 
producers gain experience with the different colour processes on the 
Indian market, more and more films will be made in colour. The 
^cost of raw film is a small fraction of overall production costs, and 
the comparatively higher cost of colour film is not by itself likely 
to act as a handicap. Tri-colour monopack films are manufactured 
in the soft currency areas with one factory in Belgium and the other 
in Eastern Germany. The ou^ut of the latter appears, however to 
iiave been earmarked for Soviet Russia which has decided to 


80 per cent, of its current output of films in colour, and no supplies- 
are likely to be made to India or other countries. Trial lots of 
Belgian colour film are now being used by Indian producers and are 
reported to have yielded promising results. 

433. In the case of black-and-white film, it is possible for the 
entire requirements of the country to be met from Western Europe 
and the U.K. unless there is some development which cuts off supplies 
from Eastern Germany. In that case, the deficit will have to be made- 
up from North America. It would seem, however, advisable to pro- 
vide immediately for the supply of colour film from the U.S.A. to 
supplement the sources in the soft currency area. 

434. Economy in consumption. — Of the factors that have tended to- 
increase the consumption of raw film, there are some which are 
welcome signs of the development of the industry. The increase in 
the number of cinemas as a whole, to nearly 3,250 in 1950 and the 
change-over of a larger number of them to Indian films provides a 
bigger market for the industry and also brings the cinema within 
the reach of a larger section of the population. The increase in the 
number of copies printed of each feature film reduces the time lag. 
between investment on a film and recovery of the investment, and 
by speeding up the turnover of capital, it reduces the overall invest- 
ment at any time, and consequently lessens the difficulty of securing 
capital for production. On the other hand, the waste of raw film 
on productions which never reach completion or which are never 
screened is something which the country can ill-afford, and parti- 
cularly at present when all raw film has to be imported from abroad. 

435. The question of avoiding wastage in production is examined 
elsewhere in this report and we have also made certain recommenda- 
tions which will have the effect of keeping down this wastage. These 
recommendations are, however, in the nature of long-term measures 
and it would take time for their effect to be felt on the overall con- 
sumption. But it is essential that the industry should b6 helped to- 
overcome the difficulties consequent on the present shortage. The 
direct effect of a hitch in raw film supplies is to increase the cost of 
production out of all proportion. Overhead charges are heavy and 
so is the cost of running or hiring a studio. Delay of a few days in 
the supply of raw film might increase the cost of a film by thousands 
of rupees, and this loss will be increased many times if, because of 
the preoccupation of leading artistes, the shooting of a scene cannot 
be fixed up immediately when raw film again becomes available. 
An indirect effect of this state of affairs is that the scope for profiteer- 
ing is enormously increased. A producer does not hesitate to pay 
two or three times the regular price if he could only get film when 
he needs it badly. When supplies are limited, as at present, those 
who somehow manage to get hold of stocks find it extremely easy 
to re-sell at fancy prices. Production costs are already so high that 
the industry can ill-afford to let such conditions continue. We, 
therefore, consider it very necessary to ensure free supply of raw 
film to meet all the requirements of the industry. 

436. Foreign currency requirements.— At current prices and in 
the proportions of negative and positive specified by the leading 
importers, the c.i.f. cost of 240 million ft. of film would amount to 
nearly Rs. li crores. If consumption rises sufficiently to absorb all 


the supplies promised by the importers, i.e., 280 million ft., the cost 
would be roughly lj| crores of rupees c.i.f. There would not be any 
material difference in the total cost whether the film is imported 
from Western Europe and U.K. or from North America. 

437. The amount of foreign currency required to finance the 
purchase of raw film will, however, be increased very greatly if 
colour is used on a large scale. The cost of colour film is three to 
five times as high as the cost of black-and-white film, and even if 
producers avoid wastage in production and are also content with a 
dozen copies of each film instead of the much larger number now 

j produced, the cost of raw film per picture would be higher by about 

I Rs. 40,000 per picture and the foreign currency requirements would 

I go up at this rate according to the number of pictures produced ia 

S colour. 

438. Distribution of raw film. — ^Except during the war when the 

t distribution of raw film was controlled in the manner already des- 

I cribed, there has not been any Government supervision exercised 

I on the distribution of raw film by importers to various categories of 

I consumers. Supplies since the termination of the war have been 

I short owing to the large expansion of production in this country and 

j to the control of imports and recently this shortage has been very 

I pronounced. As a result, there have been many complaints that 

I supplies are finding their way into the hands of profiteers, who re-sell 

I them at excessive prices to producers or distributors in urgent need 

I of raw film. We have, theffefore, examined the necessity for any 

I change in the present methods of distribution, in order to ensure 

i that the limited supplies reach the users directly. The matter has 

I been discussed fully both with the importers and with the consumers. 

I While the former are prepared within limits, to adopt any method 

of distribution which will have the concurrence of the industry, the 
latter are opposed to any form of control unless exercised directly 
by the associations in the industry. While this should normally 
prove quite satisfactory, we are unable to ignore the trend of the 
answers received to our questionnaire from various producers regard- 
ing difficulties in securing supplies. These answers showed that while 
the bigger producers do not have any difficulty in securing supplies 
from the importers, it is invariably the smaller producers whose 
work is held up for lack of raw film and who are compelled to pay 
excessive prices in order to secure it. Further during the discus- 
*, sions, the associations frankly admitted that while they would like to 

exercise control over the importers of raw film, past experience has- 
proved that they are powerless in enforcing any sort of control ’ 
over their own members. Malpractices during the war and in the 
^ succeeding periods had in many cases been due to this fact that the 

associations of consumers have very little effective control on their 
own members. In the circumstances, we are doubtful whether the 
interest of the industry would best be served by entrusting the dis- 
tribution of raw film to the associations. We have recommended 
earlier that for the present the import of raw film should be per- 
. mitted in quantities adequate to meet current demands. If, however, 
it proves necessary later to restrict the amount of imports in any 
manner, we feel that controls will be essential and that until the- 
io^iry is re-organised on a proper basis and is subject to "the- 


■effective supervision of a central body, control on the distribution 
of raw film will have to be exercised by persons independent of the 
industry. * 

439. Categories of raw film consumers. — ^The various classes of 
consumers who require supplies of raw film are as follows: — 

1. Studios which produce on their own account and in their 

own name. 

2. Studios which take up a share in pictures released under 

the producer’s name. 

Studios which rent facilitie.s without taking any share in the 

4. Independent producers. 

5. Independent laboratories. 

n. Distributors who handle releases on behalf of producers. 

7. Distributors who have secured all rights in a picture. 

8. Distributors of foreign pictures. 

9. Retailers of raw stock, dealers in equipment or machinery. 

10. Other categories of customers. 

440. At the request of the consumers, we have obtained, from the 
importers, full particulars of the deliveries of raw film made by them 
since 1st January, 1950. These particulars have been circulated to 
the associations of consumers and it would appear from the comments 
received thereon that in recent months there have not been many 
cases of supplies which the associations consider unjustified or at 
least not many to which they are prepared to raise an objection. 
This would seem to imply that the policy of distribution adopted 
voluntarily by some importers for the allocation of supplies is quite 
satisfactory. To us it seems more likely that the associations are 
nm strong enough to protest against excessive supplies drawn by 
influ^tial members, and that any control to be exercised by them 
would not be very effective at present. 

441. There is one aspect of distribution with which we are not 
quite satisfied. Some importers have been selling their stocks freely 
o i^udio-ownGrs in excess of the quantities required for their own 
productions and also to laboratories in excess of the small quantities 
whi^ they would require for making good any shortages caused by 
the defe^ in handling. While there could be no objection to such 
.supplies being made at a time when stocks are freely available, there 
IS the possibility that under present conditions of shortage those 
studio^wncrs and laboratories may be able to utUise the stocks as a 
lever to comj^l independent producers to utilise their services in 
preference to the services of others who might be able to offer better 
favourable terms. Many consumers have complained 
^at there have been cases of such pressure being brought upon them 
to choose a particular studio or laboratory because they not 

obtain raw film otherwise. One studioHiwner givinf evSoe^t 
Bombay admitted that because he is in a position to suppty raw 
stock, ete., he is able to ensure that his studio is fully booked uo for 

one shift per day. Complaints that certain 
laboratories are charging much higher rates for making copies merely 


because they can provide the raw film required have also been made 
to the Committee. Two of the importers of raw film are indirectly 
connected with processing laboratories in Bombay and both of them 
have defended before the Committee their policy regarding supplies. 
The biggest firm of importers has no affiliations with either labora- 
tories or studio-owners and their policy of allotting film to various 

, categories of consumers, which had been worked out previously, in 
consultation with the consumers, has not given any room for 

442. Manufacture of raw film in India. — Both during and after 

* the war firstly on account of the scarcity of imports and secondly 
because of its post-war expansion, the industry has been complain- 
ing of the shortage of raw' materials in general but raw films in 
particular. The witnesses from the industry have all stressed the 
only two available alternatives to deal with this scarcity — viz., more 
imports or manufacture of raw films in the country. In view of the 
tight foreign currency position, the former is out of the question; 
indeed we are not sure that having regard to the present quality 
and economic possibilities of a large number of pictures a substantial 
portion of India’s hard-earned foreign currency resources is not being 
wasted. There then remains the second alternative and that is the 
one on which trade and industry have laid considerable stress. We 
have, therefore gone fully into the possibility of its manufacture 
locally. The present difficulties of foreign exchange have brought 
to the forefront the question of local manufacture of a number of 
articles, but among these raw film stands on a special footing. Like 
newsprint, it is the vehicle for one of the major media of mass com- 
munication, and the similarity extends further in that the total value 
of the final product, whether it be a feature film or a day’s output 
of new'spapers. is out all proportion to the cost of the vehicle. The 
importance of establishing the industry should not, therefore, be 
judged by the ultimate economy achieved by lower costs in India, 
which may be negligible, or even by the employment provided, which 
will be small compared to the cost of the product, or even by the 
saving in foreign currency, a factor which may lose its present signi- 
fitcance. The importance lies in the independence which it will confer 
on the film industry, and the freedom from worry about supplies 
which are now liable to be cut otf for any one of half a dozen reasons. 

443. There is no doubt that the cinematograph film today is a 
highly technical product, involving several specialized processes and 
,1he difficulties in the way of turning out an acceptable article are 
numerous. The aspect has been stressed in the evidence placed 
before us by the representatives of foreign manufactures and of local 

* 444. Characteristics of raw film.— Raw film used in the industry 
consists of several varieties, negative (for use in the camera), sound- 
recording. positive (for copies for exhibition), etc. The characteristic 
qualities of each variety lie in its (a) sensitivity, i.e., its ability to 
record images with varying amounts of light, and the range of light 
values over which it can usefully be employed; (b) contrast, i.e., the 
hianner in which it distinguishes between varying degrees of light 
and shade, when processed by a particular method) (c) colour 
sensitivity, i.e. the manner in which differences in the colour of the 

objects are reproduced, compared to how they look to the human eye; 

(d) resolving power, i.e., the ability of the film to record fine detail; 

(e) grain size, t.e. the size of the silver particles which make up the 
image. Negative film has high sensitivity, or speed, low contrast, 
good overall colour sensitivity, medium resolving power and com^ 
paratively rather coarse grain. Positive film has much lower 
sensitivity or speed, high contrast, and poor colour sensitivity except 
for blue and fine grain. Sound film is similar to positive film, and 
some of the newer emulsions have very high resolving power. The 
requirements of the industry are roughly 10 per cent, each of nega- 
tive and sound to 80 per cent, positive. 

445. Safety base film. — ^Till recently, all cinematograph film was 
made from cellulose nitrate, similar to the esters used for manu- 
facturing gun-cotton and celluloid. This is highly inflammable and 
also deteriorates in storage. Fires are disastrous, whether originat- 
ing from external causes or from breakdown on the film itself. 
Efforts were, therefore, directed to the preparation of film which 
would possess all the desirable qualities of cellulose nitrate film 
without its inflammability and these have recently proved success- 
ful. Film base of satisfactory quality is now being made from cellu- 
lose acetate and acetatebutyrate, and manufacturers in other 
countries have, therefore, planned to produce only such safety film 
in future. It is expected that after 1951, no more of the dangerous 
xiitrate film will be manufactured. We have, therefore, considered 
only the manufacture of safety film. 

446. Recommendations of the panel on plastics.— In 1946 the Gov- 
ernment of India set up a Panel to examine the possibility of start- 
ing various plastic and celluloid industries in India, and the report 
of this Panel covered also the manufacture of raw film. Their 
recommendations were that Government should take the initiative 
and that a plant should be started with the collaboration of as 
established foreign manufacturer, since the techniques involved were 
highly specialized and were not known outeide the half a dozen 
factories that supplied the whole world. The collaboration, they 
suggested, could be either on a partnership or a royalty basis. Indian 
technicians were to be trained abroad and the factory in India was to 
undertake manufacture in stages, starting first with the coating and 
finishing of film, then taking up the casting of film base with imported 
chemicals and finally starting the manufacture of the chemicals 
themselves. The planned output of the factory was to be SO million 
sq. ft. of coated film, of which half was to be in the form of cinemato- 
graph film (approximately 200 million ft.) and the other half in ^ 
form of roll-film, process material, X-ray film, etc. The capitsJ cost 
of the project was estimated at 3 crores of rupees. 

447. Stages of manafaetnre.— The process of manufacture of raw 
film can be traced backwards to four stages: — 

(1) The finishing of the film (the continuous web of coated 
film to be slit into reels of the required width, perforated 
along the sides, marked and numbered for identification 
made into rolls of 1,000 ft. and packed into cans for 


(2) The coating of the film base with a photo-sensitive emul- 

sion (a suspension of a silver halide in gelatine to be 
coated as a thin uniform layer on the film base); 

(3) The manufacture of the film base; (conversion of the cellu- 

lose ester into a plastic, and “casting” in the form of 
tough transparent and continuous sheet, about 3i ft. in 
width and thousands of yards in length); 

(4) The manufacture of chemicals required for making the 

film base; (cellulose ester, plasticizer, solvents, etc.). 

448. Foreign currency savings. — ^In order to present an overall 
picture of the amount of foreign currency saved if the various ptages 
of manufacture are undertaken in India, a table is given below of the 
•manufacturing costs and raw materials that go into each stage. Such 
figures can only be approximate but they indicate the magnitude of 
work in each stage and the progress towards self-sufficiency that it 
represents. These figures are drawn from different proposals and 
estimates placed before the Committee. 

.J. Finishing of film, 

Mamifaotiirin^ o sts t > bo 
inourrod in India. 

Materials t ^ be pr >vidod 
from Indian s iu^ooa. 

Cost of Snob materials 

Ove rail f^aving in foreign 

Raw material ti be imp ^rted 
Cost of materials to be imported 

ill ^ Coating of film base 

Manufacturing c sts to be 
in curred in India 

Materials to be provided tfom 
Indian 8 lurces 

C )8t of RaQh materials 
Overall saving in foreign 

Raw material to be imparted 

Cost of materials to be imported 

IJ . Man^ /Mture of film btus 
Manufacturing o sts to be 
incurred in India. 

Materials to be provided ttjxa 
Indian sources. 

C.-st f such materials 

overall saving in foreign 

Raw materials t .i be imp .rted 
'Cost of materials to be imported 

10 % 

Cana, cores, 
paper, etc. 

2 % 

12 % 

Coated film- 
< 8 % 

25 % 

Aottone, alum, 
ammonia, eto. 

8 % 

28 % 

Film base, silver 
nitrat* gelatine, 
br midea, iodides, 
wetting ogonts. 

60 % 

13 % 

Aoet me. Ale hols, 
glyooririo, oto, 


16 % 

Cbllnl sc nttnf3, 

pla^f int^orif, 

'Solvent. ’ 



Mnn*>fact*fre of ha^ic 

How made 

Not now- 

cftemicala required. 

in India 

made in Indiai'. 

For Htago 1 





d }, 






prnportionafe cost all chomioaH for 

V Jiicli >*«w matr riaN e.xid. in India are 

Indian 40% 

made locally; (niainly ailvor nitrate 
aivd a few sepcialt.^d itemff) 

Foreign 4% 

449. On the basis of the present consumption of raw film in this 
country, which amounts in value to roughly IJ crores of rupees 8=. 
year, the annual saving in imports would be as follows; — 

Sta^ T 
StAffO IT 
Stage in 
Stago IV^ 


18 lal^hs. 
42 lakhs. 
24 lakhs. 
60 lakhs. 

144 lakhs. 

450. The items costing about Rs. 6 lakhs which would have to be ■ 
imported even if all the four stages of manufacture are undertaken 
in India, are silver, which is not mined in this country and would 
have to be imported whether in the form of metal or as the nitrate, 
some emulsifying and wetting agents .and small quantities of 
sensitizers and dyes. There are no reasons why silver nitrate of. 
the required quality should not be produced in India. The technique 
is not difficult; some silver nitrate is already being produced and 
the assurance of an expending market should assist in improvement 
of quality as well as manufacture at prices in competition with 
imported product. Even the latter items can ultimately be manu- 
factured locally when the organic chemical industry has been built 
up to a high standard in this country but silver will in any case have- 
to be imported, not because the quantities required are large but 
because owing to various reasons, the price of silver in India is far 
above the world price levels. 

451. It would he evident from the foregoing analysis that sub- 
stantial amounts of foreign currency would be saved if one or more 
of the different stages of manufacture are undertaken in India 
Whether in each case the stage would be economically worthwhile 
can be considered only with reference to the cost of capital instaUa- 

"^ion (including buildings) necessary for that particular stage andi 
the availability of the raw materials and trained technicians 
required. We have found some difficulty in arriving at exact esti- 
mates of the capital investment required for each stage. The various 
schemes that have been placed before the Committee are not strictly 
comparable, because in some cases they have grouped the stages or 
fnduded other items and in other cases are very approximate, not 
having been based on working knowledge of Indian 
Further, each scheme is based on a different estimated output per 


452. Finishing plant possibilities.— There seems no doubt, how- 
ever, that finishing of film (Stage 1) can be undertaken straightaway 
in this country as the equipment required is not expensive in proi»r- 
tion to the total of the manufacturing costs saved, which consists 
mainly of labour charges. In view of the comparatively low labour 
■costs in India, it should' be possible for any of the present importera 
of film to set up their own finishing plant in India or alternatively 
^ pool their resources and set up a common plant where all their 
imports of full width film can be finished. The establishment of a 
factory for this purpose would also have the advantage of training 
workers to handle the material in the dark. 

453. Coating of imported film base.— The coating of imported film 
base (Stage II) is obviously an economical proposition which has 
'been carried on successfully in the U.K. and elsewhere for a number 
of years. Several questions have been raised about conditions in 
India which must be answered before the scheme can be approved. 
The first is the availability of film-base, gelatine and other chemicals 
required for making the emulsion. One Indian manufacturer of 
•chemicals has expressed doubts whether it would be possible to 
import film-base from established makers abroad if the intention is 
tto turn out a finished product which will compete with theirs. He 
has suggested, therefore, that the initial plant in India should not 
be of such a size as to alarm manufacturers abroad. On the other 
hand, one European manufacturer of raw film has expressed his 
■willingness to supply any quantity of film-base that may be required 
if a factory is to be established in India. The difficulty with regard 
to gelatine is that the preparation of the photographic grade is a 
•highly specialised process which is at present undertaken only by a 
few manufacturers in the West who supply the entire requirements 
of the world. The nature of photographic gelatine and the part 
which it plays in determining the qualities of the photographic 
emulsion are now better understood than before, and there are no 
insuperable difficulties in its manufacture which cannot be solved 
given time and the necessary research in this country. It seems 
-however likely that if a factory is started comparatively soon in 
India, it might have to depend upon imported gelatine for some time. 
It is understood that a pilot plant for the manufacture of photographic 
gelatine has been installed at the National Chemical Laboratory, 
Poona, and arrangements are being made for commencement of pro- 
duction of the material. The additional demand of the raw film 
industry should be an incentive to the firm undertaking production 
and the establishment of this potential market should no doubt assist 
in an acceleration of the production programme. Small quantities 
of specialised chemicals such as sensitizers, emulsifiers and wetting 
agents will also have to be imported. It is understood that in the 
course of research undertaken by the Council of Scientific and In- 
dustrial Research during the war dyes useful for the manufacture of 
orthochrome plates, panchromatic plates, deep red sensitive plates 
and infra red sensitive plates have been developed. In quality the 
compounds are comparable and in some cases even superior to the 
corresponding foreign products. Commercial production covdd not, 
■however, be developed because of the non-existence of the using in- 
dristiy for the manufacture of photographic films, plates and paper. 
The extension of these investigations to their use in films and further 
■developments could be undertaken if an early establishment of the 


raw film industry is considered a feasible proposition. Manufacture- 
on the small scale required for consumption in India does not appear 
to offer any great difficulties. Another question to be answered is 
whether it will be possible to develop, within a reasonable time, the 
production of emulsions of the various grades required for the film 
industry. Not much difficulty is .anticipated in the development of 
suitable slow emulsions, though even in this case, previous experience 
with the preparation of emulsions for photographic papers would un- 
doubtedly be of very great help. Slow emulsions are used in the 
manufacture of positive and sound film which together make up 90: 
per cent, of our total consumption. It must, however, be borne in 
mind that in the case of these slow emulsions the price of the finished- 
product is quite low, owing to severe competition among the various 
manufacturers. The margin of profit may be negligible, and it might 
even be necessary to provide a certain measure of protection in the 
initial stages of the development of the factory. War-time research 
in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has produced 
some useful result and the technique of producing emulsions, at 
least of the slow tj is now available and could be used with suit- 
able modifications in the production of slow films, which as the 
report* rightly points out, constitute the major requirements of the- 
film industry. A small experimental plant for coating plates and: 
films was rigged up and is now installed at the National Chemical 
Laboratory, Poona. 

454. Manufacture of emulsions.— The preparation of high speed' 
emulsions of the type used in the cameras is very ffifficult and is also- 
protected more by the secret trade processes than by published' 
patents. There is no doubt that the preparation of these emulsions 
in satisfactory quality has involved considerable patient research in 
other countries, and association with an established manufacturer ' 
abroad or the employment of senior chemists with long experience 
would be indispensable. It would, however, be possible for a factory 
to confine its production to slow emulsions for some years while it 
is simultaneously engaged in research on the preparation of high 
speed emulsions. 

455. Film base.— The manufacture of film base (Stage III) is a 
highly mechanised process in which substantial savings in foreign! 
currency can be achieved only if the necessary chemicals are manu- 
factured in this country. It seems very doubtful whether the manu- 
facture of film base can be undertaken economically if the cellulose- 
esters, plasticizers and solvents have to be imported. The success 
of this stage of manufacture would depend entirely upon its being 
undertaken concurrently with the development of the manufacture 
of basic chemicals classified. It is understood that a firm in 
Hyderabad (Deccan) are undertaking the manufacture of cellulose - 
acetate and have under consideration production of acetic acid by 
oxidisation from alcohol also. Acetone is being manufactured at 
Cordite Factory, Aruvankadu, and should not present much of n 
problem. (Stage IV.) 

Stadio equipment 

456. Categories of equipment.- The capital equipment used in* 
film studios can be roughly classified into three categories: (1) Photo- 
graphic Equipment, including lighting equipment, (2) Sound record- 
ing and reproducing Equipment, and <3) Laboratory Equipment Th* 

^ ^ 


first category would include cameras, magazines, stands, dollies and 
cranes, lenses and special equipment as well as lights of various 
description for both key and spot lighting. The second categow 
would include microphones, mixers, effect filters, amplifiers, recora- 
ing cameras and film phonograph (play-back) equipment The third 
category would cover processing machines, printing machines and 
auxiliary equipment 

457. Equipment in present studios.— There are about sixty studios 
in this country where production of films is being carried on. The 
standard of equipment provided in each case is not the same; some 
are very fully equipped while others have the barest minimum. The 
capital equipment required for a fully equipped studio is estimated 
to cost Rs. 10 lakhs, and it seems doubtful whether the equipment 
used in the existing studios would come to more than half that 
figure. Moreover, in a number of cases, the equipment is antiquated 
and also worn out to a great extent. Most of it is precision equip- 
ment for which spares are individually manufactured and have to 
be imported from the original makers. Maintenance of the equip- 
ment has not therefore been as good as it could have been if spares 
had been freely available. The period since the end of the war has 
seen a considerable amount of capital expansion in the studios and 
in some of them new equipment has been installed. We estimate, 
however, that capital equipment to the value of at least Rs. 2 crores 
will have to be installed before the studio can be considered up to 
current standards. When they have been refitted, the existing 
studios would be adequate to handle the production of all the films 
necessary for feeding the cinemas in the country. 

458. Photographic equipment.— Cameras and auxiliary equipment 
are highly specialised products which are manufactured mainly in 
the U.S.A., France and Germany. Attempts have been made to 
recapture for the U.K. the position that it held in the early days as 
a manufacturer of camera equipment but, at present most of the 
studios in India use mainly French and U.S. cameras. The manu- 
facture of these cameras requires a highly developed precision 
mechanical industry in the country as well as an advanced optical 
industry. We do not feel that the prospects of these being established 
in the near future in India are good enough for us to contemplate 
the manufacture of cameras and accessories in this country. 
Dependence will, therefore have to be placed on imports for the 
next few years. Dollies and cranes are occasionally manufactured 
in this country and it seems possible that more of these can be made 
locally. The cost of such items is not, however, very high and since 
defective equipment would cause very great deterioration in 
standards as well as possible loss to producers, we do not suggest 
that local manufacture should be stimulated by restricting imports 
until the industry is convinced that manufacturing capacity in this 
country has been brought up to the requisite pitch of precision. 

459. Back projection.— None of the studios in India is equipped 
with modem facilities for back projection. This process is used for 
reducing costs of production particularly on out-door shots and the 
latest extension of the process for the reduction of expenditure on 
sets should also be particularly helpful to Indian producers. The 
equipment and the screens for the purpose vrould have to be imported 


from abroad though some results could be achieved by adapting 
theatre equipment for the purpose. 

• 460. Ligfits and fittings. — ^The position with regard to lights and 
fittings is, however, quite different. With the exception of reflectors 
and fresnel lenses which it may take some time to manufacture in 
this country, the lights are comparatively simple pieces which can 
be turned out by any well-equipped machine shop. U.S. manufac- 
turers who have had practically a monopoly in the supply of lights 
and fittings have recently started their manufacture in the U.K. and 
presently, supplies can be obtained from this soft currency area. 
Development of local manufacture could be undertaken by the 
Ministry of Industry and Supply and we would suggest special atten- 
tion being paid to this, because, at present, partly owing to restricted 
imports, most studios do not have an adequate number of lights, 
with the result that there are expensive delays before shooting can 
be commenced on any set. 

461. Incandescmt lamps.— -The lights in use in Indian studios are 
designed for the use of incandescent filament lamps of 500 watts 
capacity and above, which are not manufactured in this country. 
These lamps have a very short life as they are worked at a higher 
temperature than lamps for general lighting service. Large numbers 
of these lamps are required each year, and present ceilings on the 
value of imports are now being relaxed after the matter had been 
taken up by us with the Ministry of Commerce. 

462. Arc lamps.— With the growing use of colour abroad special 

arc-lamps have been developed for use in film studios and will ulti- 
mately have to be installed in Indian studios also. Conversion from 
incandescent filament lamps to arc lamps would involve considerable 
expenditure and it would, therefore, be quite useful if from the 
beginning manufacturing plans in India cover only arc-lamps. The 
use of these arc-lamps makes it necessary, however, for studios to 
have large supplies of D.C. and the change-over will therefore 
necessitate the installalion of rectifier equipment in the studios. At 
present most studios are exceedingly short of electric power and an 
alternative solution would lie in the installation of diesel generators 
for the supply of D.C. for arc-lamps. The relative merits of 
rectifiers and diesel generators can be assessed only on the basis of 
the number of hours each day that the lamps are in use. Even with 
the slow methods of arranging the lighting of sets as now practised in 
India, the lights are not in use for more than two hours in a working 
shift of eight hours. The chances are, therefore, that the lower capi- 
tal cost of rectifier equipment would be an advantage provided that 
electric supply authorities are in a position to meet the increased 
demand. Since, however, most supply undertakings in this country 
are finding themselves unable to meet post-war demand and are not 
in a position to take on additional loads, diesel generators might offer 
the best solution in some locations. . > 

463. Import requirements. — ^With the exception of the lights 
already mentioned, none of the photographic equipment required for 
modernising Indian studios is likely to be available from local pro- 
duction and the requirements will have to be met by imports which 
we estimate to amount to Rs. 15 lakhs a year. The rale of re-equip- 
ment is really limited by the amount of capital that studio owners 
can spare for the purpose. 


464. Sound recording equipment.— Among recording equipment, 
^microphones, film recorders and magnetic recorders would within 
4he category of specialised equipment, the manufacture of which may 
jiot be feasible in this country for some years more. Mixers, filters 
nnd amplifiers can, however, be produced in this country but before 
the industry can be developed, it is necessary to examine and clear 
up the patent situation. Many of the techniques used in sound- 
recording and reproduction are covered by patents held abroad, and 
in spite of the time that has lapsed since the basic patents were 
issued, much of ^e field is still protected by patents. We feel that 
this should be e^rained by the Ministry of Industry and Supply in 
‘Consultation witn the industry. The requirements of the film industry 
may not however be large enough to justify manufacture in this 
country and it may therefore be necessary to adopt certain standards 
which would suit both the film industry and other users of such 
•equipments, e.g.. All India Radio. The Government of India have 
announced that they are examining schemes for the manufacture of 
electronic equipment in this country in association with one or the 
‘•other of the leading manufacturers in Western countries. We suggest 
that in the course of these negotiations the manufacture of equip- 
ment for the film industry be kept in mind. 

465. The annual value of equipment and stores to be imported for 
this purpose would be about Rs. 25 lakhs. 

466. Editing and play-back machines. — ^There are certain items of 
^equipment the manufacture of which can be established within a 
short time in this country. The most important of these are film 
phonographs (play-back machine) and editing machines. A large 
number of these are in use in the studios and more will be required 
■both for replacement of existing machines and for extending the 
production resources. The mechanical construction of these machines 
is comparatively simple and the basic principles of design are those 
which Indian manufacturers have already used during the war even 
-though on a small scale, for the manufacture of projectors and sound- 
heads in this country. A number of film phonographs have already 
-been made in this country and it should be possible, by suitable 
•encouragement, to place their manufacture on a sound basis. The 
optical components, which account for less than 10 per cent, of the 
cost, will have to be imported for some time. 

467. Laboratory equipment.— The machines used for processing 
-cinema films stand in a category by themselves. Most of those in 
use in this country have been constructed locally on the basis of 
■formation obtained from technical literature or by observing 
imported machines. It cannot be said that the machines manufactur- 
ed locally have all given satisfaction. Some of them are mechanically 
•imperfect and lead to damage of the film, and in many of them, the 
arrangements for circulation of the chemical baths at the correct 
temperature is not quite satisfactory. The construction of these 
machines does not however involve any difficult processes and the 
matter is only one of more careful study and design. In our view 
"^e easiest arrangement would be to negotiate’ with some manufac- 
turer of repute in ^ance or in the U.S.A. for the manufacture under 
aicence of processing machines according to designs developed in 
these countries. 


468. Local constructors of processing machines have difficulty in. 
obtaining necessary raw materials, particularly, stainless steel andi’ 
plastics for use in places where the chemicals come in contact with 
working parts. Assistance from Governihent in securing such: 
materials will help place local constructors in a position to turn out 
machines for all the requirements of the industry. 

469. Printing machines sensitometers, etc. — ^Printing machines are 
precision instruments and the requirements of the studiiis will have 
to be met by imports. The machines arc available both from France 
and from the United States and recently one of big U.S. manu- 
facturers has established a factory in the U.K. It should therefore 
be possible to secure all the country’s requirements from this soft 
currency area. Other items of. equipment needed in laboratory are 
sensitometers which, though comparably simple in construction, are 
not at present being made in this country. We feel that, if the 
standards are to be impi’oved, laboratories should be better equipped 
in this direction and greater use should be made of these instruments. 

470. Miscellaneous equipment. — ^There are some other pieces of 
minor equipment used in film studios and laboratories which at 
present are being imported, e.g., rewinders, synchronisers, reels and 
film splicing machines. In most of these cases, there is nothing to 
prevent local machine-shops from manufacturing them except the 
reluctance of users to purchase items made in India. This reluctance 
is partly due to the fact that Indian manufacturers of equipment 
have not so far taken the trouble to acquaint themselves with 
dimensional standards and tolerances to be adhered to if the equip- 
ment is to handle commercial film without damaging it We have 
\»me across several examples of rewinders and reels which are very 
much out of size and in consequence unsuitable for use with a costly 
commodity like cinema film. The users have, in their turn, been, 
unable to locate the fault or to guide the manufacturers. 

471. Stores and spare parts.— Of the items of stores required for 
the efficient running of studios and laboratories, mention has already 
been made of incandescent lamps. If a large number of arc-lamps: 
are installed, high intensity carbon of the special type required for 
these lamps will also have to be imported till their manufacture has. 
been started in this country. Leader film is another item of consum- 
able stores of which laboratories make regular use. Till the manu- 
facture of film base in this country has been established, leader film 
will have to be imported. It is understood that the Tariff Board has 
classified leader film also with photographic material and this has 
created difficulties both in import and in assessment of customs duty. 
Leader film is only perforated film base and there is no photographic- 
emulsion coated on it. It will therefore be improper to classify it as 
photographic material and we would suggest that it should be classi- 
fied under cinematograph raw film, a special entry being made to- 
cover imcoated film which should be assessed at a lower rate, ad 

472. Spare parts for the maintenance of photographic and sound 

equipment would also have- to be imported in order to keep in good 
r^ing condition the equipment already installed and to be import- 
ed. We would estimate the value of such stores at Bs. 5 per 
Annum. ^ 

Cfaonicals for the film Jndnstry 

473. Photographic chemicals.— Chemicals are used in 
cinematograph industry for the following purposes: — 

(a) Processing of black-and-white and colour film; and 

(b) joining, cleaning and duplicating finished films. 

For the processing of black-and-white film, the annual requirement* 
of chemicals are as follows;— 

Developer $ 


HydrcquiA' >ue 

Sodiunx Carbonate 

Sodium Sulphite 
PotaSBium Metabisulphito 

Annual requiremon ts 





Aoetio Aoidt Glacial 


Ciirlo Aoid 


Fixing Agenie 

Sodium ThioBulphate (Hypo) 


Hardening Agents 

Aluminium Pota8.>ium 

Sulphate (P.;>taBh Alum) 


Chromium Potassium 

Sulphate (Chri>me Alum) 


MiscUancous Chemicals 

Pot&'sium Bromide 


Sodium Tetraborate (Borax) 

The figures above refer only to the requirements of the cinemato- 
graph industry, but a number of these chemicals are used also for 
the treatment of amateur photographic film, X-ray film and photo 
process materials. Unfortunately, it is not possible to figgoss the 
market requirements for these purposes in the same manne r as they 
can be estimated for the film industry because full statistics of the 
total consumption of amateur film, etc. are not available, and more- 
over, some of the chemicals are used in different proportions for 
^eral photographic purposes. According to information furnished 
by tte trade, it would appear to be a close approximation to actual 
needs if the figures given above are doubled in order to cover all 
cinematograpMc and photographic requirements. 


474. Of the chemicals mentioned above, some are already manu- 
tactured in this country, particularly Hypo, Soda Carbonate, Soda 
Sulphite, Potassium Bromide, Alum and Hydroquinone. One manu* 
facturer informed us that equipment for the manufacture of Metol 
in this country has already been imported but has not been set up. 
According to the report of the Tariff Board, facilities exist for the 
manufacture of Potassium Metabisulphite, but the production 
-capacity is not being utilised. In the case of Hydroquinone we aje 
informed that the present output of the factory is not adequate for 
the demands of the industry and will have to be expanded. It would 
appear that, if sufficient production capacity is also installed for 
turning out the quantities of Metol required ip this country, the 
cinematograph industry would be substantially independent of 
imports as far as black-and-white film is concerned. 

475. Processing of colour film.— -The list does not, however, cover 
the requirements of special chemicals for the processing of colour 
film. In addition to the small quantities needed at present for pro- 
cessing amateur film in colour, pretty large quantities of certain 
chemicals would be required to process the growing footage of colour 
film that is being shot in this country. In this case, some of the 
chemicals used for black-and-white processing are also useful, 
but the special developers and coupling agents will have to 
be imported for some time, till the organic chemical industry is 
properly established in this country. 

476. The value of chemicals required for the manufacture of film- 
•cement made for joining films and for the preparation of cleaning 
fluids for removing dust, oil, etc. from film which is being handled, 
would not be very great, ^me of the solvents, like acetone and 
alcohol are already being manufactured locally and the problem is 
only to ensure regular supplies of the requisite quality. It is essential 
however to make sure that the other chemicals required, particularly 
for the manufacturO^of film cement suitable for joining acetate safely 
film should be made available by imports fill they can be produced 
in this country. The total value of such imports would not exceed 
Rs. 50,000 per year, but it is essential that there should be no delay 
in licensing their import. Taken in conjunction with the chemicals 
required for processing colour film, the total import required would 
amount to Rs. two lakhs per annum. 

477. Standardisation of quality.— The most imperative need of 
the industry is for the standardisation of the quality of 

now manufactured in this country or to be manufactured in the 
future. We have heard a number of complaints from users of these 
chemicals that their quality not merely varies from batch to batch 
but is also rarely up to the standard of imported chemicals. The 
plea of the manufacturers has been that at present there are no 
standards imposed in this country regarding purity, etc. of chemicals 
for photographic use. They have, however, agreed to adopt such 
standards as may be fixed. The standards prescribed by the 
American Standards Association appears to be quite adequate for the 
■purpose and may, with advantage, be adopted for this coimtry. There 
is usually a plea from manufacturers for relaxation of standards in 
the case of nascent industries. In this particular case, we would not 
recommend any relaxation of standards for this reason, that the cost 


of the product for which these chemicals are used is so high in com* 
parison with the cost of the chemicals themselves and any defect in 
the chemicals, which results in disproportionate loss to the industry,, 
would be xmpardonable. If the industry feel that the maintenance 
of high standards as applicable in other parts of the world would* 
increase their cost of production to an uncompetitive level, they 
could well take this up with the Tariff Board. We are sure that if 
the Tariff Board is convinced that the cost of production in this 
coimtry is much higher than the cost of imported chemicals of the 
same standard, they would not hesitate to recommend protection on a 
suitable scale. We feel, however, that it is essential for the chemical 
industry to raise their standards first and then to explain why their 
cost should be higher than elsewhere. 

478. Enforcement of standards. — ^The question has beeh raised' 
regarding the enforcement of the standards that may be prescribed. 
We would suggest that when the standards have been laid down, all 
manufacturers and dealers in chemicals for the photographic and 
cinematograph industries should declare, on the packages of chemi> 
cals and in their invoices, that the chemical is of photographic 
quality as laid down in the standards. They should be liable to legal 
penalties if the goods are not up to the standard. It should also be' 
made clear to the manufacturers that if their output of any chemical 
in photographic quality is not sufficient for the requirement of the 
market, imports will be encouraged to make up the deficit. We feel 
that at least for a few years more an organization is necessary for 
periodically testing samples from the market, of all chemicals marked' 
as suitable for photographic use. 

Theatre projection equipment 

479. Requirements of the industry.— The number of cinema 
theatres* in this country is approximately 3,250 of which about 2,400 
are situated in i^rmanent or semi-permanent buildings, while the 
rest are located in tents or similar temporary structures and move 
from one location to another. In all the better class theatres it is 
the practice to use two projectors so that one would be ready to start 
when the reel on the other is finished, providing an iminterrupted 
picture on the screen. In the small cinemas, as in the touring 
theatres, usually only one projector is used in order to save on the 
capital investment. This projector is, however, equipped with over- 
size magazines which would accommodate reels of 3,000 or even 
4,000 ft. of film instead of the 1,000 ft. reels normally used in double- 
projector installations. The total number of projectors in use in the 
country is estimated round about 4,000. 

480. The normal life of a projector would be ten or twelve years, 
depending partly upon the soundness of its construction and in part 
upon the care taken in maintaining it in proper condition. Cheap 
projectors have often to be replaced within seven or eight years 
after installation, though they are favoured by some theatre-owneis 
because of their lower initial cost. Assuming an average life of ten 
years and allowing for the large number of replacement carried out 
in the post-war period, the annual demand for new projectors for 
purposes of replacement may be estimated at about 300. Some more, 
say 150, would be needed for new installations; this number wotdd, 
hoivever, increase if the ban on the construction of cinema theatres- 


which applies in many of the States is gradually relaxed, with freer 
availability of building materials. The total requirement of the 
industry for 1951 may be taken to be not less than 450 to 500 
projectors. Trade estimates, called for separately from all leading 
importers, put the requirements at over twice this figure, but this 
may be ascribed to the fact that each importer was unaware that 
similar figures were being furnished by others, and was further 
anxious to secure as big a quota for himself as possible and conse- 
quently inflated his figures of estimated requirements. 

481. Manufacture in India. — complete projector installation 
■can be broken down into the following component items; — ^projector 
head, sound head, lens, arc lamps, arc rectifier, magazines, pedestals, 
amplifier, loud-speaker units, loud-speaker horns, slide projectors and 
gramophone turntable. Accessory equipment used with the pro- 
jectors include reels of varying capacity, rewinders and film-splicers. 
An analysis is given, in the table at the end of this Chapter of the 
proportionate cost of the various items which go to make up a com- 
plete equipment. The figures are based on information contributed 
by over twenty importers of varying status in the line and is gene- 
rally applicable, with less than 10 per cent, variation plus or minus. 
The table can be used for assessing the saving in foreign currency 
resulting from the manufacture of any particular item. For this 
purpose, it may be assumed that the average U.S. installation costs 
3,000 dollars and the average U.K. or continental installation £800 
for a single projector and accessories. 

482. Of the parts that make up the equipment, the projector head 
and the sound head are products of precision engineering and at 
present are not being manufactured in this country, even though 
during the war a small number of projector heads and a large number 
of sound heads were manufactured in this country. Projection lenses 
require a precision optical factory with its own lens designing depart- 
ment and though it has been suggested that the Mathematical Instru- 
ments’ Office would be able to turn out projection lenses for the indus- 
try, we feel that this is a project which would take time to develop. 
Arc lamps of the low-intensity type used in the older projector and 
still in demand for cheap installations can be easily manufactured in 
this country and even the high intensity arc lamp which takes cored 
carbons can be manufactured in this country with the existing 
facilities though not many have been made so far in this country. 
The rectifiers for supplying D.C. to the arc lamps generally use gai^ 
filled bulbs, and though the bulbs themselves may have to be 
implied, the transformer and the voltage control apparatus can be 
easily produced in this country. 

483. The manufacture of film magazines of thousand ft. capacity 
for double installation requires stamping facilities, but these are 
already available in this country. During the war a large number of 
piagazines were turned out, but with freely available imports, their 
manufacture has been discontmued. Owing to the small demand for 
the local production, no manufacturer has considered it worthwhile 
to make the necessary dies and tools, and. in consequence, local pro- 
ducts did not keep within the prescribed limits of size and fit. With 
an assured demand, it would be economical for manufacturers to 
instal the equipment needed and produce reels within acceptable 


The same remarks apply also to rewinders and to film- 
:splicers. The pedestals on which the projector and arc lamp are 
mounted consist of simple castings and can be easily turned out in 
sufficient quantities locally. The amplifiers vary in size according 
to the capacity of theatres to be served and also differ considerably 
in the stand-by arrangements provided against failure of individual 
sections. These Can be assembled in this coimtry to meet the entire 
requirements of the market but a large proportion of the components 
will have to be imported and the question of patent rights also 

485, In this regard, we would refer also to our recommendations 
for the manufacture of sound recording amplifiers. Loudspeaker 
units are specialised items requiring expensive manufacturing equip- 
ment and jigs, the outlay on which the demand in this country may 
not justify. The loudspeaker horns are simple in construction and 
could be easily made in this country. Slide projectors have been 
manufactured in small numbers locally and the output can be 
increased to take cere of all the market requirements though the 
^optical parts may have to be imported. In the case of gramophone 
turn-tables, the motor and pick-up are usually imported. Manufac- 
ture of the meters could easily be taken up by any factory turning 
■out fractional horse power motors and fans. The pick-ups are usually 
the product of highly specialised factories and will have to be import- 
ed for some time. Reels, rewinders and splicers are simple mechani- 
cal items which are already being manufactured in this coimtry. 

486. Progressive manufacture.— One importer of equipment has 
placed before the Ministry of Industry and Supply detailed proposals 
for the assembling of complete equipment from parts imported from 
the U.S.A. and U.K. and others manufactured locally. The scheme 
calls for progressive manufacture in India of almost all the items 
in the list except the optical components and amplifier valves, and 
has already been accepted by the Ministry of Industry and Supply. 
Another importer has submitted an estimate of the costs of manu- 
facturing locally items F and G which appear to be quite competitive 
with the cost of imported equipment. Both have, however, represents 
ed to the Committee unless the import of such items as can be 
manufactured locally is drastically curtailed, the local indu-stry is 
sure to be faced with unfair competition. An important point of 
their argument is that the cost of these items and, in fact, of the 
whole projector equipment is only a small proportion of the invest- 
ment on a theatre, and if foreign made equipment is available (even 
though at higher prices), theatre-owners would rather go in for such 
ioreign goods than try out a new product made in India. Both firms 
mentioned above have had long experience in the industry and have» 
between them, equipped more than half the theatres in India. Their 
views regarding the taste of buyers will therefore have to be given 
cpecial weight. Neither of them intends that the manufacture of 
some of the items should be' undertaken in their own factories. Their 
plan is to distribute it among specialists — contractors, one of whom, 
for instance, might undertake all the foundry work, another the 
stampine work and so on, while the items will be collected, tested, 
assembled and finished in the firms’ own plants. These sub-contrac- 
tors wo"'^ natiirallv require bulk orders to be placed with them 
before t*^e' would instal the necessary manufacturing equipment or 


order out the special die and tools required. In view of the 
size of the total demand, it may not be worthwhile for these sub* 
contractors to undertake manufacture on efficient lines unless the- 
whole market is secured for them. This can be made available if,, 
when licences are being granted for the import of cinematograp|i 
equipment, the authorities would specifically exclude items which, 
can be manufactured in this country. The Ministry of Industry and, 
Supply have already examined the manufacturing facilities available 
in the country for turning out magazines and pedestals (items F and 
G) as well as reels, and support the view that the import of these 
should be discouraged with immediate effect. There is no reason why 
foreign currency should continue to be spent on such other items, if 
the Ministry of Industry and Supply are satisfied about the manufac- 
turing capacity in this country and agree that the import of these- 
items may be discouraged. 

487. Phasing of progranune. — ^The phasing of the manufacturing;: 
programme could be done in the following manner: — 

First Stage'. Items E, F, Q, K. 

Second Stage: lieniH D, Ht L« M. 

Third Stage: Items A, B. 

Items that might have to be imported even after the third stage are 
optical equipment for the projector and sound-head, valves and 
lamps for the soimd head and amplifier and perhaps loudspeaker 
units. If manufacturing capacity in this country is organised and 
offered sufficient incentive, by progressive reservation, of the market 
for indigenous products, it should be possible within a period of three^ 
years to complete all the three stages mentioned above. 

488. The cost of the imports of capital equipment in the absence- 
of any local manufacture can be estimated roughly as follows: 

200 Equipment @ 3,000 dollars Rs. 60 lakhs. 

300 Equipme rt @ £ 800 Rs. 32 lakhs. 

Rs. 92 lakhs. 

489. The import requirements can be progressively reduced as 
manufacture in this country is gradually developed. ITie extent to. 
which it will be reduced is given below: — 

First Stage:— 25 per cent. 

Second Stage : — 30 per cent. 

Third Stage : — 36 per cent. 

It would not follow that the foreign currency requirements would 
be cut down by the stated percentages from the figures of Rs. 92 lakhs 
mentioned earlier, since this would not allow for expansion of tho 
number of cinemas in this country. We may expect however that 
when all the stages are complete, the overall requirements of 
imported material would be small. 

490. Stores and spares.— In order to maintain in operating coacli- 
tion the equipment already instaUed, it is necessary to provide tor 
the im]port of spare parts. We estimate the annual requirementa of 


parts and accessories at Rs. 20 lakhs, more than half of which 
will have to be imported from tiie dollar area from where the equip- 
ment was originally imported. 








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491. The carbons used for the arc-lamps in cinematograph pro- 
jectors fall under two categories, those used in low intensity arcs 
where the illumination is produced primarily by the flame of the 
arc, and others used in high intensity arcs where the illumination is 
produced by certain salts of rare earths, introduced into the carbon, 
which are rendered incandescent in the arc. 

492. Carbons of the former type are comparatively much cheaper, 
but their illumination efficiency is poor and they are going out of 
use, as more and more projectors are being converted to the use of 
high intensity arcs. 

493. Low intensity carbons are produced by a number of manu- 
facturers specialising in carbon and graphite products. In the soft 
currency area, there are at least two in the U.K., one in France and 
two in tile Western zone of Germany who make these carbons. Two 
major elements in the costs of production are (a) capital investment 
in tile plant and (b) power costs. In both these respects, it is natural 
tiiat factories constructed a long time ago, when building and plant 
costs were much lower than today, .would be at an advantage in 
comparison with factories which have been put up recently or have 
had to be re-built after suffering war damage. Because of 
devaluation, the relative costs of dollar goods have gone up. 

494. In the case of high intensity carbons, the U.S. manufacturers 
have the advantage of having put in a lot of research, and many of 
the latest developments have been pioneered in the 17.S.A. Before 
the war, German manufacturers were keeping abreast of American 
developments, but after the war, with the passing of certain factories 
71lori3.— 12 


and records into Russian control, West German products have not 
yet been able to compete on equal terms with American products. 
If however sufficient supplies can be made available in the market, 
these West German predicts can probably secure a larger share of 
•the market, in Britain too, a certain amount of development has 
taken place since the war, but the dependence on semi-manufactured 
material imported from the U.S.A. under schemes of aid to Europe 
is reported to be greater than in the case of Germany, and prices are 
therefore dependent on the higher rate of the dollar. 

495. A scheme for the manufacture, in India, of high intensity 
carbons was placed before the former Ministry of Industry and 
Supply. It is based on the utilisation of rare earths in the monazite 
sands of Travancore, and would have to work in co-ordination with 
the plant to be set up by the Government of India for the recovery 
of thorium from the sands. 



496. Recapitulation of the state of the industry.— In our earlier 
•Chapters, we have attempted to survey the history of the film in- 
dustry, the circumstances in which it has been functioning, the legal 
and other limitations which circumscribe, its freedom of action, the 
individual functionaries who give it shape, the raw materials which 
are its life-blood and the financial conditions which determine its 
final destiny. We have surveyed its internal difficulties and handi- 
caps and dealt with the external factors influencing its fortunes. We 
are afraid our survey has not been encouraging from the point of 
view of allowing things to adjust themselves under the impact of 
the various pressing factors, but, keeping in view the need for objec- 
tivity, we have given full and frank expression to our views in 
regard to the part which each constituent element has played in 
determining the course of the industry as a whole. The external 
elements have also had their due share of attention. In brief, the 
haphazard growth of the industry under the full blast of laissez 
faire except for the fortuitous but erratic control during the war, 
lack of careful and proper planning, decentralisation and dispersal, 
the absence of a godfather in Government departments, overmuch 
reliance on individual rather than collective initiative and effort, 
too little regard for art and too much emphasis on wrong notions of 
entertainment, the burden of taxation, the presence of misfits and 
“unfits’ in key positions, “professionalism” rather than “contractu- 
alism” among the artistes, the stranglehold of finance, lack of orga- 
nisatior '»nd co-operation, the absence of any policy on the part of 
Government in regard to the direction, purpose and regulation of the 
industry, the multiplicity of authorities which have a say in its 
affairs, the confused attitude of State authorities and Ministers to- 
wards the very claims of the industry to exist, its dependence on the 
foreign market, and competition with foreign films incorporating a 
different approach to life and containing different ideas of moral 
and spiritual values but possessing superior organisation and com- 
manding wider markets, better talent, richer resources and less 
strict censorial attention — all these have been the important faptors 
which have affected the industry during its progress to its present 
stage of development and history. From our survey and this brief 
statement of some of its important characteristics, it must be plain 
that the responsibility for the state of affairs which we have des- 
cribed in our earlier Chapters must be shared by the various 
Governments, the industry and the community alike. In this 
Chapter, we propose to deal with each of these elements and then 
Comment on the general quality of the product turned out by the 
industry and its defects which command our attention. Obviously, 
it must be on this general analysis on which our recommendations 
for the future of the industry must be based. 

497. Negative attitude at Government.— As regards the responsi- 
bility of Government, let us sav quite candidly that, unlike many 
other indixstries, this industry has suffered from too little rather 
than too much realisation of that responsibility. From the cavalier 



treatment which the report of the first Cinematograph Inquiry Com 
mittee has secured at the hands of Governmenv •• and the lack of 
interest which Governments showed both in the potentialities of the 
industry and in its progress, it is clear to us that .neither 

its importance nor its needs were ever fully realised 

or appreciated. The industry has been allowed more 

or less to seek its fortune and eke out its own exist- 

ence and like many a soldier of fortune in history, the industry 
became a prey to diverse influences and lent itself to exploitation by 
many contradictory forces. Its nation-building role, which necessi- 
tated its being rescued from the capricious handling of unqualified or 
ill-equipped individuals and required skilful and trained direction of 
men with vision and ideas, was allowed to be forgotten or ignored. 
Government was content to adopt a negatite attitude of trying to 
ensure that wrong pictures or wrong ideas did not corrupt public 
morals — but even this was done in an indifferent manner through the 
agency of Censor Boards which, judged from even ordinary stan- 
dards, were for most of the time entirely unequal to the job. In spite 
of it, some great names managed to shed lustre on the stage; though 
their course in the passage of time was meteoric, their pictures are 
even today monuments of art and industry. The war shook Govern- 
ment from its attitude of indifference and lethargy. The need for 
war-time propaganda and the scarcity of raw materials both awaken- 
ed its interest in the existence and utility of the film. We gel 
evidence of this awakening in the various measures of control and 
restrictions which were devised and the production of documentaries 
under the department called the Information Films of India. A 
Department of Information and Broadcasting was created as a belat- 
ed recognition of the growing influence of modern publicity 
methods; but it is typical of the lack of comprehensive thinking that 
even then the film industry as such continued to be the concern of 
more than one Department. We must, however, express our appre- 
ciation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for realising 
the importance of informative shorts and reviving their production 
as well as for centralising censorship. Credit is also due to them for 
realising the need for our inquiry ‘into the state of the industry’! 

498. Picture of prosperity at the end of the war.— Towards the 
closing period of the war, the industry suddenly found itself in a 
state of prosperity. It exercised a strange fascination over the 
cupidity of gamblers and financiers: often vaulting ambitions over- 
reached themselves and overstepped the bounds of discretion. The 
pre-war standards of quality and virtues gradually ga' e nlace to 
cheaper devices of what was eunhemistically called entertainment. 
Conditions in the industry placed art and merit at a disadvantage^ 
Established producers found themselves overbid by producers of 
mushroom growth, whose claim to consideration gen Tally was 
either war-time fortunes or soaring ambition without its solid foun- 
dation. The consequences were inevitable and obvious. The per- 
centage of failures rocketed high. Some names continued to be 
there to conjure with but some of the great names in the film in- 
dustry became mere shadows of their former self. New stars 
appeared on the firmament but were comparatively poor substitutes 
of those that disappeared. The changing fortunes of established 
producers, the greater bargaining position of many distributors and 
exhibitors, the struggle for existence that developed among the 
many competing claimants for the fruits of the industiy and the 


gradual deterioration both in the standards of the films and the 
tastes of the cinema-goer synchronised with the scarcity of raw 
materials, the imposition of further burdens on the industry in the 
shape of restrictions and taxation, and a certain amount of all-round 
public dissatisfaction expressing itself in authoritative pronounce- 
ments which in their turn were often too extreme. 

499. Where industry is at fault.— The reaction of all this on the 
industry has been hardly of a reformist character. The leading 
lights of the industry have undoubtedly been cognisant of its inter- 
nal defects but have owned helplessness in the face of divided coun- 
sels and conflicting interests. Loosely organised and regionally 
scattered, the industry has sometimes combined against Govern- 
ment, but seldom, if ever, against itself. Deprived of the assistance 
which a responsible public opinion and awakened public conscience 
would have given it, sensitive to the clamour and criticism of 
biased but not so well-informed journals whether restricted to films 
alone or catering to a wider range of subjects, those who could 
have made a contribution to lifting the industry out of its present 
standards and defects have sought refuge in other preoccupations. 
The industry bgs thus lent itself to an inappropriate inertia or a 
pathetic state of helplessness. Even today while it is jealous of its 
freedom and its rights and knows that it is not altogether discharging 
its obligations, it is reluctant to accept what it owes to itself and 
what it owes to the public — a real attempt at self-reform which 
would regain for itself the prestige and the admiration which its 
products commanded before the war and the high standard of 
quality in its various branches which it had attained. If it is a 
question of its undertaking the responsibility for organising itself 
on efficient lines or if we suggest to it the idea of undertaking a more 
equitable distribution of available stock of raw film or if the prob- 
lem is of dealing with the regulation of the star-system, inculcation 
of discipline among its constituent elements, and reform of its publi- 
city policy which is proving expensive without being remunerative, 
its incapacity to take a definite, bold and decisive line becomes self- 

500. It is a pity that an industry which has grown to such pro- 
portions on its own, without either state support or patronage and in 
the face of foreign competition on terms which were certainly not 
much to its advantage, should find itself in the present state of 
doldrums. It cannot be denied that the pioneers of this industry 
established themselves in spite of the adverse circumstances of 
patronage of foreign goods, of social stigma .that attached to the 
profession, of lack of high quality equipment, and of dearth of artistic 
and technical talent. Nor can it be gainsaid that the contribution 
which these pioneers and their successors, famous names in its annals 
l^e Prabhat, Bombay Talkies, and New Theatres— made to the 
building up and growth of this industry despite these adverse circum- 
stances was substantial and praiseworthy. Unfortunately, however, 
the industry was overtaken by war-conditions, while it was still 
none too firm on its feet organisationally and when the storm and 
the flood came, it lacked the sturdiness of the giant oak or the 
strength of the embedded rock. 

501. Official apathy.— Such has been the manner in which the 
industry has discharged its responsibility during the difficult war 
and post-war periods. The passing reference which we made to the 
character of public opinicm and public conscience must have given 


some indication of our mind as regards the working of that formative 
influence in all public institutions. The film industry as the largest 
public entertainer and as a forceful medium of public education 
should have attracted instinctively the attention both of Government 
and the Press. So far as the Government are concerned, their own 
record in the utilisation of this medium for education and publicity 
has been on the whole unimpressive. We are not, therefore, sur- 
prised that their attention to its organisational, artistic, and qualita- 
tive aspects has been even less marked. We are quite certain that 
had there been that alertness to its importance and awareness of its 
potentialities, and keenness to guide it on the right lines and save 
it from its organisational and other defects and if this public res- 
ponsibility had been faced by Government with competence, deter- 
mination and skill, the efforts which the industry has itself made 
towards its growth and development would have yielded a richer 
harvest — richer not only in the sense of monetary prosperity but 
also in values which are more worthy of prize and greater objects of 
pride and pleasure. 

502. Standards of film journalism. — Let us now turn to the 
attitude of the Press. We do not think we would be guilty of any 
understatement if we said that what is known as the Film Press 
which claims to devote its attention to the special needs of the film 
industry and the cinema-goers has, generally speaking, an unim- 
pressive record in constructive criticism and correct guidance to the 
public and the industry alike. Barring some exceptions, we have 
round the standard of criticism poor in qualities of taste and objec- 
tivity and lacking in virtues of fairness and impartiality. The power 
of the Press postulates all these four characteristics. In addition, we 
found few instances of appreciation of the finer points of the art 
that helps to make the industry what it should be or of well- 
informed study of the problems with which it is faced. There is a 
general tendency towards stereotyped reviews and too much em- 
phasis on personalities. If the industry has its eye riveted on the 
box-office, the film journals generally have theirs fixed on advertise- 
ments. In some cases we even found a liaison between film pro- 
ducers and film journals. Few, if any, reflect either public or in- 
dustrial opinion. Fewer still command any considerable circulation. 
The result has been that this important corrective of professional 
and industrial trends has not rendered the service it should have, 
both to the public and the industry. 

503. Cinema-goer’s voice ineffective and unorganised.— The 
cinema-goer, the element most intimately concerned with the goods 
which the industry or the Governments turn out, has practically no 
organisation or forum except the Press through .which he can express 
himself. Unfortunately, the interest which the daily Press takes in 
the films is sporadic and lacks competence. There is too much 
evidence of producer’s hand-outs in its review columns while of the 
general problems of the industry, there is little direct cognisance and 
less original appreciation. It is far too preoccupied with political 
and economic problems to be willing to devote sufficient space to the 
cultural aspects of public life, in which films would undoubtedly 
claim an important share. However, we are glad to notice some 
evidence of a belated recognition of this deficiency and the PresS' 
has begun to turn its attention increasingly towards cultural n’-ob- 
lems. We hope that with this will grow a grater interest in 


and film industry and that the Press will turn towards them its 
searchlight of criticism and lend its help in making Goveriunent and 
the public more conscious of their problems, power and potentiali- 
ties. We had before us some persons unconnected with the indus- 
try who could be considered representative of a cross-section of the 
cinema-going public. From their evidence, we could get some in- 
sight into the general attitude of the cinema-goers. We had also 
some witnesses who made a habit of studying the reactions of the 
cinema audience of various categories. On the whole, we found a 
lack of collective interest in films, an attitude of Indifference to the 
deterioration in the quality and standards of films and a toleration 
of the defects. At the same time, we found unmistakable evidence 
of the dissatisfaction with the general level of films that are exhibit- 
ed — a disproof of the claim made by the industry that it serves the 
fare according to public tastes — and a recognition of the values in 
films other than mere entertainment. Unfortunately however, there 
are no organisations, barring one or two recently established film 
clubs or societies, which provide a platform for the expression of this 
discontent or recognition. The result is that the cinema-going public 
by its patronage of average pictures is unable effectively to voice its 
demand for class ones and its refusal to patronise the large percen^ 
age of pictures which are below the average does not find much 
public expression outside the cinema-halls. 

504. Quality of films technical and artistic.— Considering the 
totality of the circumstances to which we have referred above, we 
are not surprised that the industry has not been able to do much to 
arrest its descent down hill. The average film today is like the 
curate’s egg good only in parts. There is no doubt that the film in- 
dustry has made good progress on its technical side. As compared 
with the earlier productions, the technical and mechanical elements 
in the films have improved in standards. But w'here intellect and 
art are involved, it exhibits general poverty. The standard of photo- 
graphy, with the improvements in cameras, has shown an upward 
trend; the production of sound has improved with more uptodate 
devices; the translation of orchestration and music into the sound 
track generally shows skilful and competent handling; the designing 
of sets, though' displaying at times a crude lavishness and extrava- 
gance of taste, indicates a greater facility in the use of modem equip- 
ment; lighting is generally not bad. All these go to make a film of 
today technically a much better production than its predecessor of % 
decade ago. Generally speaking, witnesses from the trade and in- 
dustry as well as the cinema-going public have expressed their satis- 
faction with this aspect of the industry’s progress. 

505. It is, however, when they come to its content, its artistic 
merit, and its purpose or lack of purpose, that criticism becomes 
both violent and almost unreserved. Nevertheless, we cannot say 
that in the main it is undeserved.; The themes are stereotyped; the 
triangle of love seems eternal; the plots are monotonously uniform 
in pattern. The contents of the film are marred by previous successes 
of the same features. There is scant realisation of the danger of too 
much repetition of a box-office hit. The presentation of life in 
“socials” is either unrealistic or exaggerated. The brush leaves 
patches of quality and art but they are so mixed up with indifferent 
or poor results that they are lost in the multitude. On the whole, 
we find that there is a tendency to treat the story or the theme as 


the least important element in the production of films as mirrors of 
life, either contemporary or of the past. In such circumstances, to 
expect any portrayal of the ideal would be. putting an undue strain 
on human capacity. 

508. Standard of Historicals and mythologicals.— The treatment 
of historical or mythological subjects again displays a lack of pefs* 
pective and familiarity with history and susceptibilities. There is a 
freedom in dealing with these themes, which ill-accords either with 
facts or with decorum. History becomes subservient to the theme 
and religious lore to phantasy or lampooning. Mythology becomes a 
caricature of religion; it lacks sometimes the solemnity and the signi- 
ficance of religious literature and is often so mixed up with the 
grotesque as to be almost indistinguishable from the ludicrous. 
Little do the producer and the director realise that there is only one 
step between the sublime and the ridiculous. There are at times 
such jarring inappropriatenesses as to reduce the respect for the 
producer’s or the director’s role. We fully realise that there are 
certain ysry successful historical and mythological portrayals; for 
obvious reasons, we cannot name them. But one success multiplies 
the theme; repetitions are often progressively cheap imitations of the 
original until a stage is reached when the last is the very nadir of 
art and the average becomes a discredit to the original which set the 
fashion in the line. 

507. Oomedies just parodies. — We have carefully surveyed the 
themes of pictures, their contents and treatment during the last .10 
years and are rather baffled by the fairly common inability of pro- 
ducers and directors to realise fully the sublime beauty of 
tragedy or the fine delicacy of comedy. The tragic aspects of 
life are not unoften sacrificed to the poetic justice of everyone getting 
his deserts and the hero securing the heroine or vice versa. The deli- 
neation of many a slip occurring between the cup and the lip or the 
course of true love never running smooth takes the form of rather 
absurd or far-fetched sequences or of the love itself becoming on the 
side of the hero unmerited, and on that of the heroine, an unmiti- 
gated ordeal. ’The comedy, on the other hand, it apt to degenerate 
into the burlesque. Hilarity and buffoonery expressed through 
meaningless grins and gestures are the stock-in-trade of the normal 
film comedian. The injunction of the true clown “not on^ witty in 
niyself but the cause that wit is in other men” is generally wasted on 
him. A comic role perhaps makes a greater call on the artist than a 
tragic one; pleasure being in the words of the Poet three-parts pain, 
it requires a touch of genius to bring forth the remaining one-fourth. 
Neverthel^s, it is difficult to reconcile oneself to that genius being 
so rare as is depicted on the screen. It is possible to argue that 
those accomplished in comic roles have fewer opportunities for a 
career, the role itself being so little in demand and, therefore, a real 
humorous artist is a rare commodity. It is, however, difflcult to 
concede this argument in the face of the more numerous humorous 
films of the West. We ha’i'e no doubt that the lack of humour in 
Indian .films is the result of the lack of appreciation of its potentiali- 
ties and possibilities in the popularity of a film rather than that of 
dearth of suitable talent or suitable themes out of life’s book. 

508. Impact of “star” craze. — The distributors and the exhibitors 
have frankly confessed that their choice of a film for exhibition . is 
based on flie cast, and the elements of music and dancing. Story for 


them is such a secondary consideration as not to figure in their com- 
putation at all. We may now consider the quality of these three 
elements which, according to them, make or mar the success of a 
film. In earlier chapters, we have dealt with some of the charac- 
teristics of the star-system which prevails in the industry today. 
That the system is being abused and that many more pass under the 
banner of stars than deserve it, is to our mind fully borne out by the 
large percentage of flops. The stellar role is not unoften cast in an 
inappropriate mould. The abuses are as much due to the manner 
in which stars are made and exploited as to the tendency, too at- 
tractive to be checked, to make money while the star shines. The 
results are far too plain on the screen. Stars in a role to which either 
on account of age or on account of physical proportions they can do 
scant justice, indifferent acting, unsuited parts, artificiality, and lack 
of naturalness and realism are some of the defects which are writ 
large on Indian films of today. We are not unmindful of great names 
in film acting and of notable successes on the screen but these are as 
rare as real class films. 

509. Inappropriate music. — ^The treatment of music and dancing 
and their appropriateness in films are even more revealing, A love- 
stricken maiden flitting from plant to plant, flower to flower or 
window to window pouring out her heart in indifferent lyrics is far 
too common a phenomenon. The sublimity and high tension of a 
tragedy are often spoilt by a song inappropriately composed or in- 
differently sung. Those who plan music in films seem to follow the 
Shakespearean maxim, ‘If music be the food of love, play on, give 
me excess of. it. that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so 
die’. They forget that that dramatic genius put these words in the 
mouth of a dignitary of blue blood who quickly changed his love 
when the occasion demanded it. Apart from this common inappro- 
priateness of music, there is the dearth of good music and suitable 
contents thereof. We do not deny that films have produced some 
lyrics of real beauty which will be a joy for ever but when one hears 
the same monotonous tunes repeated from a dozen cinemas in the 
same familiar voice, one wonders whether filmland suffers from 
poverty of talent in music or paucity of composers or dearth of 
admiration of the real art. If the demand, or craze as we might call 
it, for music results in such absurdity of situations or indifference in 
quality, we feel that the time has come when the State should inter- 
vene and give the audience what is best for it and not what the 
music directors consider would be popular hits. We do not think . 
that, even allowing for the demand for musicals, popular sense of 
discrimination is so low as not to realise which situations are, and 
which are not, appropriate for lyrical expression. 

510. We should also like to refer to the increasingly common use 
of the play-back system in musical roles of the Indian films. We 
appreciate that the use of play-back cannot be altogether excluded 
without an appreciable loss of art and quality in a film; we also know 
that in film industry the world over this system is being used but we 
definitely feel that it is being far too over-exploited in ours. A play- 
back can never be a real substitute for the competent actor-singer or 
actress-songstress. He or she cannot faithfully portray the feelings 
and emotions of a song when somebody else is singing it and he or 
she is only moving the lips in synchronisation. We have put this 
question to more than one competent witness and have obtained a 


corroborative reply. The system is being extended to such absurd 
lengths as to be fast bringing such play-back singers into such 
minence as only the stars deserve. Vmat is worse, the same in- 
capacity or unwillingness of producers to try out new talent mani- 
fests itself in this sphere as in that of the selection of casts. The 
net result has been a sickening monotony of singing voices, another 
bargaining difficulty for the producer, another expensive item in the 
film budget, and a new threat to the quality of average films. 

511. Indiscriminate dance sequences. — Similarly, we cannot too 
much stress the need for discrimination in selecting suitable 
occasions for the introduction of dancing and choosing the dance 
sequence with artistic discrimination. Dance for the sake of having 
a dance denotes a lack of quality and taste. India is rich in dancing 
lore and literature. The variety of dancing in the country renders 
itself adaptable to the demands of all suitable occasions. Vulgarity 
and ribaldry can easily be ruled out. Nor need we soar in high 
regions where the air might be scanty and we might be unable to 
breathe. We can select easily understandable movements and 
commonly expressive gestures to portray a dance suited to the 
occasion. The songs which accompany dancing or the dance which 
accompanies music can both be blended into a pleasing harmony. 
Instead, we find dances more the handmaid of vulgar music than the 
expression of any artistic feeling and music as little pleasing to the 
cars as the dance is to the eye. The harmony to which we have 
referred above is seldom to be found in the treatment of the dance 
and music. Quality is sacrificed to the need for giving the quantity; 
film dances hardly reflect Indian dancing, whether of the popular 
folk variety or that of the well-known schools. 

512. Designing of sets and planning of dresses.— In the designing 
of sets and planning of dresses, the industry has undoubtedly made 
some marked improvement. We notice, however, that even in the 
best of pictures there is a tendency towards glamour rather than an 
attempt to be fully realistic. We realise that directors and pro- 
ducers try to produce an atmosphere which suits the period or the 
theme blit it is obvious from the picture 'that the results of their 
researches or inquiries either yield indifferent results or give a 
limited range of authenticity, ‘it is generally in the mythological 
films and those dealing with village life that the dress designer gives 
full play to his inventive genius. In fact, at times it is a moot point 
whether a village scene is introduced for its appropriateness or for a 

. display of talent for designing costumes. On the whole, however, w« 
are glad to find that in these two respects, the fibm industry is not 
open to much criticism, at least of the nature to which it is exposed 
in other branches. 

513. Bequlrements of children n^lected. — ^There is one sphere, 
however, in which this industry is almost completely deficient. The 
indxistry seldom if ever departs from the favourite themes of socials, 
historicals or mythology into fantasy, cartoons, nursery stories, or 
other films which would appeal to child audiences, The place of 
children in society is being slowly recognised in the East but the 
Indian film art which started with Western insp’rat'on and back- 
ground need not have been so tardy in its recognition of the special 
needs of children. Juvenile buoyancy is distinct from adult humour; 
tragedy has its place in the education of the adult but the impres- 
sionability of “under-teens” rules out that medium except when 


it is interspersed with a generous mixture of the comic and the 
humorous. On the other hand, our films treat all types of audiences, 
adult or child, men or women, the educated and the un- 
educated .with a uniformity which is completely divorced from 
reality. Even the scenes dealing with childhood in Indian films un- 
mistakably bear marks of an imperfect knowledge of the child’s 
psychology, his habits and his needs. No star is so often repeated in 
films as the child-star; that seems such a rare commodity as to call 
for over-use. The result is a precocity which ill-fits the real child’s 
role. We cannot too strongly emphasise the need for the industry 
to devote its attention to this much-neglected section of its clients. 

514. “Shorts” and newsreels. — ^Nor has the industry taken to 
“shorts” and newsreels as it should. We fully appreciate the diffi- 
culties which the industry has experienced in making even the 
ordinary features a success. The handling of the production of 
“shorts” and “newsreels” calls for specialised knowledge and techni 

3 ue which are lamentably rare. Indian films, in view of the peculiar 
emand from their audience for certain indispensable features, such 
as music and dancing, have of necessity to be of a certain minimum 
length which leaves little room for “shorts”. Still we feel that in 
the larger public interests, if not to meet general public tastes, there 
is a paramount need for the gradual curtailment of these features 
and the substitution in their places of “shorts” of quality and varied 
themes. They need not necessarily be educative; they can be enter- 
taining and amusing without being too obviously instructive. They 
can contribute to the general knowledge of the audien:e without 
moralising and can be stimulating without being pedantic. We are 
not prepared to concede that a substantial section of the cinema 
audience cannot be brought round to appreciate this specialised art 
or that the ordinary film-goer is so fond of the long feature films as 
to take no interest in them. We feel that the manner in which the 
average cinema audience reacts to similar features of Western films 
is sufficient dispAof of the pet theories offered to us that they do 
not like or have no taste for these commodities. Our own feeling is 
that if Indian producers will turn their attention to Ihs unfamiliar 
but essential branch of the film art, they will find gradually success 
attending their efforts. At present. Government has had to take up 
this department and make up the deficiency in the industry. That 
has led to compulsion which is distasteful both to the producer and 
the exhibitor alike. But the remedy is in the hands of producers 
themselves. We have no doubt that if Indian producers show a 
spirit of enteiprise, they would soon get rid of this unwanted com- 
pulsion and be able not only to secure for themselves the revenues 
which they surrender to Government but also to educate the cinema 
audiences into liking the Indian counterparts of Western shorts. 
Incidentally, they will also ease the problems of reducing the length 
of main feature films and regulate the quantity of music and dancing 
which are becoming so much of a bane of Indian films in general. 
If In the interests of the public and society in general, these are 
desirable ends, we do not see why Indian producers should be so 
hel|)lessly submissive to their audiences and not come forward col- 
lectively to impose on them what they regard as being to their good 
and advantage. Such surrender or submission m’ght be the path 
of least resistance but it is .not the path of wisdom or the field of 
public ser ice. which we know so many producers are not averse 
from rendering. 


515. Tribute to pioneers and outstanding achievements.— We 

have now completed our reference to certain aspects of the films and 
the film industry in India which in our view called for remedial 
action. We have naturally dwelt on the defects and those points 
which we felt required Government and public attention. We should 
not however, be regarded as unappreciative of the good points or 
achievements of the industry. In fact, the way it has grown from 
humble beginnings fighting against adversity must compel our admi> 
ration and indeed the admiration of all who set any store by enter- 
prise and initiative. The efforts of great pioneers of the industry were 
made in circumstances which were often discouraging and demoralis- 
ing. All honour to them for having persisted and persevered and set 
the industry on its feet. Nor are we any the less cognisant of the many 
successes of the film industry some of which have won world recog- 
nition and approbation. We have found meritorious productions and 
come across commendable efforts at improvement and substantial 
claims to permanence which is the characteristic of real art. We 
have, however, been concerned here with what we felt were ^e 
faults and shortcomings of the industry which needed rectification 
in the interests of the country and the community no less than those 
of the industry itself. After all, it is not the outstanding productions 
which require attempts to better them; mankind’s attempts to 
create a better world are designed to improve the lot of the average 
and below the average rather than the top class. We would like, 
with all the earnestness at our command, to emphasise this approach 
of oufs lest we should be considered chary of giving praise where it 
is due. With this justification of what has gone before, we shall 
now turn to certain matters extraneous to the industry proper, which 
in our view do affect the fortunes and prosperity of the industry. 

516. Deplorable exhibition standards. — We should like to say at 
the outset that on the whole we have not been impressed by the 
general conditions which prevail in the cinemas inswhich the pro- 
ducts of the film industry are displayed. There has been some im- 
provement in that some cinemas on modern lines have been built 
and there has been a gradual but welcome change-over from Western 
to Indian films. But on the whole general conditions continue to be 
deplorable. Both in actual construction and the choice of locality, 
the Indian cinemas leave much to be desired. Their acoustic proper- 
ties suggest the workmanship of the dilettante. The seating arrai^e- 
ments are rather unscientific and often far from comfortable. Tnie 
arrangements for hawking eatables are chaotic and unclean. The 
sanitary and hygienic conditions even in the best of cinemas are at 
times unsatisfactory; they do not seem to command the attention 
which public health demands. The projection equipment is old or 
ill-kept. It is not that the proprietors of cinemas cannot improve 
upon their existing conditions. It is only the reflection of the general 
tendency either not to pay attention to elementary amenities of a 
place of public resort or not to trouble about a thing unless some 
authority compels attention. Unfortunately for the country but 
fortunately for the proprietors, the machinery of enforcement of 
cinema regulations is either deficient or defective or too much bur- 
dened with other matters to afford time for enforcement. It is not, 
therefore, surprising that these conditions still persist after the in- 
dustry has been in existence for more than twenty years since, a 
•Committee last reported on them. But wrong is none the less wrong 
ior being too long upheld and we cannot too strongly condemn either 


public tolerance of these conditions or authority’s turning blind eye 
or being apathetic towards them. 

517? Throughout the world the stage has been a valuable adjunct 
to the screen; it provides a useful field of experimentation as well 
as recruiting ground for the film industry. For the reactions of the 
audience, the inkling of public tastes, and the selection of acting 
material, the theatre’s role has been and can be most helpful to pr(> 
ducers and directors. We fully realise that there are certain limi- 
tations which rather restrict the range of usefulness of the stage 
and which justify a note of caution and circumspection in 
drawing any analogy between the two. The appeal of the theatre 
is necessarily limited; the cross-section of the audience is somewhat 
different; the part required of the dramatis personae is of a different 
type and requires different characteristics in the actors and a.ctresses; 
the emotional and intellectual appeal of a stage-play follows a 
different line from its screen-counterpart. Despite this, however, the 
history of the film industry in India and elsewhere fully bears out 
the debt which the screen owes to the stage. Indeed, the univer- 
sality of the appeal of films, the powerful medium which they 
employ, the psychological reactions which they produce on the 
audience and the class of the audience itself provide the film industry 
with a burden of responsibility in moulding its clients which is 
much heavier than a playwright has when he writes the play for the 
stage or the stage-players have when they interpret the play to 
the audience. 

518. In India unfortunately the screen has ousted the stage to 
an extent that 'the loss has recoiled on itself. We heard general 
complaints from the industry about the dearth of artistic lalent. 
We doubt whether that dearth is so serious as it has been made out 
but to the extent it exists we have no doubt that the weakness of 
the Indian stage is an important contributor to that scarcity. 
Similarly we were told that the material from which films could 
draw upon their themes is also scarce. The drying up of stage- 
plays owing to theatres getting out of fashion is in our view largely 
responsible for this state of things. We also found producers 
generally averse to breaking new »ound or taking risks; we can well 
realise their hesitation in taking liberties where an expenditure of 
lakhs is involved; if, however, the facility of the stage existed they 
could have tried out at a comparatively low cost the popularity or 
otherwise of a theme or a stage-play with a view to its adaptation 
for the screen. We feel, therefore, that the loss of the stage is a 
serious loss to the screen and efforts must be made t<f make up this 
deficiency. Most of the witnesses that have appeared before us have 
bemoaned the general deterioration in artistic, aesthetic and moral 
standards and suggested that the deterioration in the standard of 
films is mainly the reflection of that deterioration. We are unable to 
subscribe wholly to this view. We do realise that the average citizen 
of India today is probably less conscious of artistic, aesthetic and 
moral requirements than in some other countries where, for 
instance, along with the taste and popularity of the modern jazz one 
can detect a general comprehension of the classics or where along 
with a demand for individual freedom and rights that go with it 
ffiere is an appreciation of duties and responsibilities. Neverthe- 
less. we do feel that to a large extent the deterioration such as is 
noticeable is also due to the fact that opportunities ancl means of 


maintaining and developing those tastes and standards are serioudy 
lacking. There can be no doubt that during the last quarter of a 
century there has been a shift in the standard of values and a«change 
in the habits and life of the average citizen which in the absence of 
suitable substitutes which could fit in with that shift or change has 
engendered a sense of frustration and bewilderment which probably 
accounts in the main for this apparent falling off of the standards. It 
seems to us therefore that if the general tone of the indiyidum s 
mental and moral equipment is to be raised and the general level of 
artistic, aesthetic and moral qualifications is to improve, a dete^ 
mined bias must be given to the life of the community; in the field 
of entertainment, suitable channels must be devised through which 
the artistic and intellectual life of the community can flow in a 
clear and even stream and ultimately find its full expression. For 
this reason also it is essential that the “stage movement” should 
receive the greatest stimulus from both popular and State patronage. 
Gommunity theatre and amateur theatricals in educational institu- 
tions must receive every encouragement from Go.ernment and 
local bodies and by suitable awards and prizes and other encourage- 
ment; the literary talent that is available in the country must be 
attracted to devote itself at least partly to the writing of social, 
historical and other plays for which there is so much scope in this 
country. The State enterprise, however, cannot end here. It must 
also provide facilities to those who wish to make the stage and 
screen a career to acquire the necessary training and practice in 
the art of histrionics. We feel that it is time that those who run the 
affairs of this country realise this great responsibility and make 
earnest attempts to fill a serious lacuna in the life of the Indian 

519. From the foregoing survey, the main lines on which, we 
feel, the opportunities for improvement in the industry must be 
sought and the shape and direction which efforts for improvement 
must take, should be quite clear. We are quite convinced that the 
industry is not at present in a position to undertake the difficult 
burden of self-introspection and self-reform. The evils that have 
crept into the system are far too deep for any superficial treatment, 
the defects are far too widespread for any sporadic application of 
remedies. The treatment for the maladies from which the industry 
is suffering must therefore be on a planned and comprehensive 
basis covering its entire field. No branch of the industry can be 
left unattended; the intimate relationship that exists between the 
various branches of the industry cannot but create repercussions of 
the failure of one branch to respond to treatment or to line up with 
the rest in an overall plan for reform. Whether in the field of finance 
or in the sphere of organisation or for that matter within the realm 
of production itself a system of regulation must be devised, which 
would ensure a return of health and popularity to the industry in 
its various limbs and a continuous process of improvement towards 
a better state of things. At the same time, it would be fatal to 
ignore the basic fabt that in an industry of this type individual free- 
dom and initiative must be maintained within certain limits which 
would prevent any detriment to the community as a whole. We are 
not enamoured of State regimentation in the field of art and enter- 
tainment. We feel therefore that the remedies Which we must 
devise for the ills from which the industry is suffering must allow 


for the minimum of State interference and the maximum of opportu- 
nities to the industry itself to set its own house in order. What- 
ever plan be devised must therefore be based on the industry find- 
ing its own feet in course of time and being in a position to shape its 
destiny in the best interests of both the community and the industry 



520. In the concluding paragraphs of the previous Chapter we 
have explained our general approach to the manifold problems with 
which the film industry is faced today. These problems, as our survey 
has amply shown, are both diverse and difficult. Many solutions have 
been orfered during the course of our inquiry; the moods of the wit- 
nesses before us have varied from despair to subdued optimism, 
from the slough of despond to the buoyancy of hope, and from the 
bitterness of censure to the soothing words of sympathy. It is im- 
possible to survey here all these variations, and we propose to refer 
only to some of the general remedies prescribed for the maladies 
from which the industry is suffering today. 

521. Some witnesses, less out of conviction but more out of despair 
have suggested nationalisation of the industry as the panacea for all 
ills. Apart from the fashionable philosophy of nationalisation, the 
justification for this suggestion has been asserted to lie in the dis- 
organized condition of the industry, in its neglect of the social 
service which films can render, in the “deplorable” conditions of 
work which prevail, and in the useful medium of mass education and 
uplift which films provide. The protagonists of the theory consider 
that such a medium cannot be allowed to be used or exploited by 
private enterprise particularly when this has failed to deliver the 
goods and that the evils are too deep for any less drastic cure. We 
regret we are unable to subscribe to this theory. It would be wrong 
to approach the films from the point of view of any other industry. 
The word may be a convenient term to describe all the various pro- 
cesses of production and commercial aspects of this enterprise and 
it is generally in this sense, for want of a better and more accurately 
descriptive word, that we have used it ourselves, but we are definite 
that there is much less emphasis on mechanical or manual aids to 
pr^uction and much more scope for individual or corporate expres- 
sion of artistic and aesthetic values in this than in other industries. 
It would be as suicidal for thought and expression to follow uniform 
and regulated patterns in this field as in the realm of books. The 
regimentation of ideas and art would make beauty subservient to the 
rule of thumb, culture submissive to the will- of authority and enter- 
tainment subordinate to the philosophy of the State. We have no 
doubt that this would result in the standardisation of art, which 
would be fatal to its growth without making industry any the more 
dficient; the combination of the two would introduce an unhealthy 
check on individual initiative and enterprise which are indispensible 
for idealistic conception, and artistic expression. We ourselves feel 
that at best the time for the consideration of nationalisation in the 
field of art will come onlv after it has proved a success in the field 
of industry. On that road India has far to travel yet before it can 
be within even a measurable distance of success. The solution of the 
problems of the films must therefore be found on lines more con- 
sistent with the ideas which have already secured our approbation 



We are convinced that the position in which the industry finds itself 
today IS m suostantial measure due to the neglect, apak.ny and in- 
ditterence of the very repositories of public conscience and authority 
— the State, the Press ana tne community which would be tne agents 
of a nationalised economy; their lailure up to date is as such a warn- 
ing against the attainment of the promised millennium as that of the 
industry is against complacency and letting things alone. 

522. This brings us to the other extreme of remedies suggested to 
us. This school of thought would like us to give the industry virtually 
a carte blanche to regulate its affairs, and place all other agencies, 
including the State and the community, at its disposal. In other 
words they would like us to secure for them all the facilities from 
the other agencies without touching either the organisation or the 
internal dispersal of the resources and man power of the industry. 
Those who express faith in the ability of the industry to look after 
its own Interests provided other agents assist it are either ignorant 
of or deliberately pretend not to see the canker which is eating into 
the vitals of the industry from within. We would reject this method 
of approach without further argument and content ourselves with 
saying that virtue lies in owning rather than concealing one’s own 
faults and shortcomings. 

523. In our view the remedy lies neither in laissez faire nor in 
regimentation but in curing all the various elements of their defects 
and deficiencies and ensuring that they combine and co-operate in a 
joint endeavour to make this valuable medium a useful and healthy 
instrument of both entertainment and education— a means of uplm 
and progress rather than of degeneration and decay. While it would 
be a sad enslavement of human mind if human leisure were to become 
the subject of purely State dictation, we would not like it to be de- 

E raved at the behest of individual fancy. In both lies a danger to the 
etter side of human nature, to its nobler instincts, and to its perma- 
nent virtues. We feel, therefore, that while the State and the commu- 
nity should provide the necessary stimulus and corrective, the indus- 
try .should be allowed to bring out its own latent power to reform 
itself and that while State and public vigilance and interest should ^ 
ever active to prevent the industry from straying into the path of error 
and failure, the industry should be able to exercise its own powers 
and functions of self-control and self-regulation. We do not thinlr 
that this approach is a counsel of perfection though we regard the 
ci^ of nationalisation a counsel of despair. We, however, do recog- 
nise that the resources of civilisation are not yet exhausted in its 
search of balance and adjustment between conflicting interests or 
conflicting theories. It is this approach which has throughout guided 
us in the recommendations that follow. 

524. In our view, the major defects of the indusISy, from which 
other minor or incidental evils follow, and which merit our attention, 
relate to the sphere of organisation, finance, choice and handling of 
them^, the availability of talent and trained personnel, professional 
organisations and conduct within the industry and the supply of 
goods and services. Our survey provides ample support for these con- 
clusions, and we do not propose to give any elaborate justification 
here for this view. 

525. In &e ^here of organisation, the industry’s main problem is 
to provide central direction, and coordination for its activities spread 
over a vast area but distributed at present principally in tiiree 


regions — Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. It Is only ^ such co- 
ordinated direction that the industry can be made to think and act 
collectively where such deliberation and action are essential. We 
have no doubt whatsoever that in the interests of the community and 
the industry, individualism which the latter has enjoyed hitherto 
must be surrendered to the collective principle in substantial measure 
and that the collective principle should not be based on a regional 
concept but on an all-India basis. 

526. In the sphere of finance, we have to consider the problem la 
three aspects— (a) the need of the producers for finance, (b) the 
burden of taxation, and (c) the adjustment of trade relations between 
the producer, the distributor and the exhibitor. We have no doubt 
whatsoever that arrangements must be devised to make finance avail- 
able to the producer on comparatively easy terms. The difficulties are 
obvious lack of tangible assets and security, the element of risk in- 
volved and its peculiar nature, the incalculable factors of inherent 
artistic qualities, public preferences and the effects of publicity, and 
the inability to canalise the different stages and branches of produc- 
tion into a single purposeful stream of activity. These difficulties 
should however stimulate rather than deter the State and the industry 
from devising suitable machinery. The problem is not in any manner 
unprecedented; in other spheres a solution for it has been found. As 
regards taxation, we do not think that anybody can question the 
right to levy a tax on entertainment; it is now part of the fiscal 
system of the nations of the world. What we must ensure is that the 
tax is equitable, its burden is evenly distributed, and that, in that it 
is a specific tax, a portion of it or the benefit thereof returns to the 
industry and through it to the particular category of tax-payers. We 
therefore recognise that the tax should be levied in a manner that 
it does not become an oppressive burden and does not have the effect 
of discouraging cinema-goers either from going there at all or from 
going to higher class of seats; in other words the revenues of Govern- 
ment as well as the industry must expand in accordance with the 
expanding demand for films and not be subject to the law of dimi- 
nishing returns. We also feel that while State Governments can 
legitimately utilise this source of taxation towards expanding their 
general revenues, the consumers i.e. the cinema-goers, who ultimately 
pay this tax, and the industry whose returns are undoubtedly 
adversely affected by its high incidence, are justified in asking that 
a reasonable proportion of this tax should be utilised for the well- 
being and improvement of the industry. There is also another aspect 
of the financial problems; that concerns the terms and relationship 
between the producers, the distributors and the exhibitors. In this 
oonnection, we have had complaints from the producers that the dis- 
tributors and exhibitors are having the better of them althou^ they 
themselves have to take the risk of investment and borrow capital 
at exorbitant rates of interest The distributors, on tire other hand, 
complain that they have to take unusual risks particularly where 
fhev stand guarantee and directly or indirectly finance productions 
while the major share goes to the exhibitors and the producers The 
exhibitors on their part emphasise that their contracts with distribu- 
tors are onesided and that they are on the one side harassed by 
petty officials and discretionary rules and regulations and on tiie 
other by the demand of the omucers and distributors f'w accommo- 
dation or compliance with the onesided provisions of the contmcti. 
The course of the industry has brouidit many an up and down in the 


fortunes of the producers and exhibitors; sometimes one is in a better 
bargaining position than the other. At the same time, the general 
community has to bear the consequences of the respective ups and 
downs and it complains that whoever is up and whoever down, the 
adverse results ultimately fall on it. For instance, whether the pro- 
ducers are prosperous or the exhibitors thrive, the conditions inside 
the cinema remain as unsatisfactory as before while the quality of 
the film shows no signs of change for the better. It is clear, there- 
fore, that in the interests of the parties concerned and the general 
community this state of affairs should be put right. 

527. Then comes the question of selection and handling of the 
subject and its treatment in the picture. To some extent the im- 
provement in the producer’s finance is bound to affect this branch 
of activity as well, but having regard to the general deterioration 
that has set in, we are definitely of the view that there is sufficient 
justification for intervention and the provision of outside stimulus 
and direction, as well as for proper training and improvement of 
talent available to the producer. We are convinced that means must 
be provided to bring stories to the producers, to train up and improve 
the quality of technicians, directors, artistes etc., who are engaged 
in production, to ensure proper choice and handling of themes and 
their exploitation, and to see that the finished product conforms to 
certain accepted standards of decency, taste, quality and public edu- 
cation. This is necessary alike in the interests of the producers and 
those of the cinema-goers. The percentage of flops has now reached 
an alarming figure; the standard of production has considerably de- 
clined; the uncertainties of the trade have increased to the point 
of making it a gamble. All these trends are both unhealthy and un- 
businesslike and are having a deleterious effect on the mental and 
moral make-up of the audience. We must remedy each of these if 
films are to play their part in the life of the nation. 

828. We also consider that there is a very urgent need for raising 
professional standards of talent and conduct. We have already dealt 
In sufficient detail with the evils that prevail, the deficiencies that 
exist and the consequences that devolve on the community and the 
industry. We may only add our strong view that there is as much 
need for efficient and well aouinned institutions for teaching and 
training as there is for the development of an esprit de corps among 
the various professionals in the industry and for the Organisation of 
these professions on lines which would promote the maintenance of 
healthy codes of conduct and professional standards among the 
members of each profession. It is essential that the consciousness of 
all this should grow among them and that the necessary professional 
and public spirit is created and developed. All for each and each for 
all is a maxim of which there is great need in the country as a whole, 
hn the film industry, the condition of which we have described in the 
preceding and earlier chapters, such need is particularly marked. 


S29. mm CeaneiL— On the organisathmal side we would recom- 
mend that early steps should be taken to set up a statutory Film 
Council of India as the central authority to superintend and regulate 
^ film industry, to act as its guide, friend aim philoimpher, and to 
advise the Central and State Governments in regard to various 
matters oonneeted with the prodiKtioa, distribution and exUbitioa 


of films. Such a Council, we envisage, will give the industry the 
necessary stimulus and inspiration to regulate its affairs on healthy 
and constructive lines, ensure that organisationally it functions in an 
efficient and business-like manner, ensure professional conduct and 
discipline in its various branches and enforce standards of quality 
which would make the film a cultural agent and an instrument of 
healthy entertainment. There are other important functions which 
we should like to assign to it and which we would detail later. 

530. Compositloii. — ^In our view the ideal composition of the 
Council would be as follows 

(1) A chairman, preferably a person of high judicial status 

commanding an eminent public position, and possessing 
a depth of cultural background, to be nominated by the 
Central Government. 

(2) (3) and (4) Three representatives of Producers. 

(5) One representative of Distributors. 

(6) and (%) Two representatives of Exhibitors. 

(8) One representative of Directors. 

(9) One representative of Artistes. 

(10) One representative of Technicians. 

(11) One representative of labour in the film industry. 

(12) and (13) Two educationists 

(14), (15), (16) and (17) Four persons to be nominated by the 
Central Government in consultation with State Govern- 
ments— one reoresenting each of the States of Bombay, 
Madras and West Bengal and the fourth representing 
other States, preferably those taking an active and 
genuine interest in films; and 

(18) A financial expert. 

The above-mentioned composition is prompted by the desire to secure 
representation of all interests who have a stake in the industry or 
who can tender advice of value. 

In addition,' it is our intention that the Film Council should set 
up Panels to deal with the different activities of the industry— Pro- 
duction, Distribution and Exhibition in general, as well as research 
both psychological and technological, the manufacture and supply of 
raw material, etc. We also contemplate that in course of time the 
Council should take over both the Production Code Administration 
we are recommending below and the Board of Censors already 
constituted by Government. Other sub-organisations can be set up 
by the Council from time to time to facilitate a proper division of 
work or devolution of authority. We also recommend that the 
Council should set up liaison agencies at each State headquarters to 
look after the interests of the industry and to advise State Govern- 
ments on its behalf in regard to the various matters in which its 
advice may be aou^t. 

We should Hke to emphasise that we regard it essential for tfcie 
success of this institution and to enable it to play its proper role in 
the industrial set-up that Governments both Central fuid^ 

.‘•hould endeavour to make the Council a real and living instituuon. 


fully representative of the industry as well as the principal adviMr 
of Governments on all film matters. With the balanced composition 
which we have suggested we see no reason to apprehend that it will 
be prompted by narrow parochial interests or lack authority and 
competence. On the other hand we feel that it is through such an 
institution rather than through its own direct agency or intervention 
that the Central and State Governments can succeed in making films 
the real and effective instrument of art, culture and healthy enter- 

531. Statutory powers. — We would like the Council to be a statu- 
tory body with certain regulative and supervisoiy powers over the 
industry to enable it effectively to intervene in the event of disputes 
between the various branch organisations of the Industry and to 
ensure that it can effectively enforce compliance with standards of 
production and of professional conduct. For standards of production, 
it can function through the Production Code Administration to which 
we shall revert later and in regard to disputes on professional con- 
duct it should function through its own tribunals or appellate juris- 
diction. To give it the requisite voice of representation and authority 
we should welcome the choice of representatives of the various in- 
terests in the film industry to be made in consultation with and 
through representative bodies to which we I’efcr later. 

532. Bessarch. — On the research side, we would like it not only 
to undertake and promote technological research but also to initiate 
and undertake psychological research such as audience research in 
terms of various age-groups, children, classes of audience^ sexes, 
and cross-sections of cinema-goers. 

532a. Studios. — We have commented on the deficiencies of studios; 
we feel that a great deal of improvement is necessary before they cab 
serve the real purpose of the industry. We would, therefore, like the 
Council to be authorised to license studios and to arrange for their 
inspection both before and periodically after the issue of licences. 
We will lay stress upon the conditions that prevail i aside studios as 
well as upon the location of studios, because we real ’"sc the import- 
ance that environment plays in all creative work. It shotild be the 
aim of the Film Council to set up film colonies outside the city, limits 
of the main production centres, located wherever possible in a green 
belt set apart by the town planning authorities. The development of 
such colonies would, in our view, encourage co-operative effort in the 
film industry, and we hope that town development schemes will 
take due note of this essential feature wherever the film industry 
establishes itself. 

533. Control over production.— Some witnesses have suggested 
to us that in order to improve the standard of production, to ensure 
that persons of the right type and merit are engaged in the profes- 
sion and to control the volume of jjroduction there should be a system 
of licensing of producers or the issue of licences for the grant of 
raw-stock. We have carefully examined this suggestion but consider 
that having regard to the other recommendations we ate making for 
the regulation and control of this industry, this measure which it 
would be very difficult to administer without avoiding charges of 
unfair discrimination, favouritism and unnecessary stifling of pro- 
ductive effort, had better be eschewed. We have ourselves no doubt 
that if our recommendations a;fe fully implemented the need for 


such a measure will not arise. At the same time, to provide against 
any unforeseen contingencies or against an emergency such as war, 
the Council should be given the authority to regulate the volume of 
production, to license producers, to prescribe their qualification*— 
not necessarily academic. 

534. Traini^ institutions.— We are separately proposing the set- 
ting up of training and teaching institutions of technicians, directors, 
arlisets, etc. In particular we are suggesting the institution of a Cen> 
tral Institute of Film Art as a first step in the evolution of a Film 
Academy. We would like these institutions to be run under the 
supervision and control of the Film Council. In addition to these 
functions we would like the Council to discharge tlie following func- 
tions; — 

(a) Calling for such returns or information from the various 

bodies or units in the film industry as it may deem 

(b) Issuing annual reports on the industry dealing with ib 

various branches and activities, which should be laid 
before Parliament with such comments as the Central 
Goveriunent may make. 

(c) Conduct of a quinquennial survey of the industry as sug 

gested elsewhere. 

(d) Encouragement and promotion of Film Libraries. Club.*; 

and Societies. 

(e) Approval of regulations for the associations of Producers 

Directors, Distributors, Exhibitors, Technicians, Artistes 
etc. on the lines we have suggested separately. 

(f) Apoellate functions in regard to the distribution of raw 

film through Producers’ Associations. 

(g) Regulations for the control of expenditure on publicity 

(h) Award of annual prizes for the best picture, best acting 

best technical effort, best review, best book on film art 
best film story, etc. Selection of films for exhibition in 
India or abroad at festivals of cinematic art. 

(i) Issue of a film journal containing important statistics 

relating to the industry, articles on research and 
development of the industiy, expert reviews of films 
(on the lines of the publications of the British Film 
Institute or the Joint Estimates of current motion pic- 
tures in the U.S.A. ) and information in regard to pro 
ductions in hand, etc. 

(j) Encouragement of the stage as training grotmd and ex- 

perimental field for film industry and as an allied cul- 
tural and entertainment institution. 

- (k) Establishment and maintenance of a Central Film Libraiy 
a Story Bureau and a Casting Bureau. 

535. Story Bureau.— The various suggestions placed before us in 
connmtion with the establishment of a Story Bureau amount briefly 
to this: The Central Story Bureau should analyse and prepare brief 
abstracts of the stories published in this country (irrespective of 
language) and. if possible, of those published ab’-oad. as well as of 
any manuscripts offered to the Bureau. In eadi case, the abstract 


should give a sufficient account of the plot and details of the author 
«r owner of the script. Such abstracts should be sent to ail producers 
who, on finding a story which suit their particular needs, could com- 
municate directly with the author. Though such Central Story 
Bureaux do not appear to have been tried by the film industry in 
any other country, there are theatrical agents in the United Kingdom 
and elsewhere who publish' periodical catalogues of the plays avail- 
* able through them for stage presentation and such lists have proved 
of great help both to amateur and professional producers. If such a 
Bureau is established in this country, its benefits to authors, and 
producers as well, would be very great. We feel, however, that such 
^ a Bureau cannot conveniently be set up through official means. We 
recommend, therefore, that the Film Council should examine the 
possibility of setting up such a Bureau with branches in different 
parts of the country. It will have to function at all the various cul- 
tural centres in this country where fresh material is published, and 
also keep in touch with the literature of at least three or four other 
coimtries. The Bureau could make a small charge for its services to 
authors and producers. 

536. Casting Bureau.— -The Production Panel of the Film Council 
should also set up a Casting Bureau which should serve as a clearing 
house of talent and meet the needs of the producers as they arise. 
The evils of casual employment of extras have been painted in rather 
lurid colours before us at Bombay. We have also heard evidence in 
Madras coming from Artistes themselves which show us certain de-. 
fects of decasualisation of extras. We feel that this class of artists* 
requires particular attention as it is being exploited by unscrupulous 
persons and is sometimes the victim of certain undesirable trade 
practices. We hope that the formation of guilds which we have sug- 
gested elsewhere would afford them some protection. The establish- 
ment of a Casting Bureau which would make for mobility of such 
casual employees would in our view be helpful towards a solution of 
their problems. 

537. Edacational Panel.— We would also suggest an Educational 
l^nel attached to the Film Council which should act in co-operation 
with the Ministry of Education at the Centre and the Departments of 
Education in the various States in order to develop the use of film 
In education. Each State should employ an officer, in their Depart- 
ment of Education, a specialist in the line who would guide the 
schools in the proper use of films. The Educational Panel would be 
in close touch with the educational activities of U.N.E.S.C.O. and 

^ should definitely encourage the production of educational films and 
those intended specially to cater to the needs of chPdren. We have 
tw) doubt that in this task the Research Section of the Council to 
which we have already referred would lend its competent assistance. 


538. Short FOms Panel.— The Council would no doubt also have a 
Panel for Documentary Films, whose function would be to encourage 
and supervise the production of documentaries bv private producers. 
It would be necessary for this Panel to maintain a c’o'e liaison with 
•the Department of the Government which would be producing 
aews-reels and documentaries until private enterprise can take it 
over. In the me-nebprship of this Panel, therefore. Government also 
riwuld be represented. 


639. Exhibition Panel.— The Exhibition Panel of the Film Council 
should devise means for the periodical testing of the technical stan* 
dards of the equipment in the various cinemas in the country and 
ensure that these are maintained suitably. In this connection, they 
would have the co-operation of the Distribution Panel aiso jn arriv- 
ing at satisfactory standards. 

540. Film Fund. — We have no illusions about the financial require- 
ments of an enterprise of such big proportions. In the vei^ nature 
of things, the Council must have highly skilled staff at its head- 
quarters and competent representation elsewhere. We consider it 
unfair that the entire burden of this institution should fall either on 
the industry or on Government, though we do envisage that the 
Central Government will give it suitable grants. For financing this 
institution, we would, therefore, suggest the following means: — 

(a) A cess on raw cinema film imported into or manufactured 

in this country at the rate of one pie a foot and on ex 
posed cinematograph film from abroad imported into 
this country at two annas a foot for the first copy (nega- 
tive or positive) and one anna a foot on further copies. 
The proceeds of the cess are to be ear-marked for ex- 
penditure on research and development of the film inr 
dustry and the running of training institutions and not 
to be spent on staff and other activities of the Council. 

(b) The funding of 10% of the net income from the levy of 

entertainment tax on the exhibition of films. We esti- 
mate the needs of the Film Council at this figure, but if 
it takes time to develop the various branches of activity 
suggested by us, it may be sufficient to start with an 
initial figure of 5% rising in the course of three years to 
10 %. 

(c) Charging of fees for issue of licences, certificates of appro- 

val etc. to cover the cost of administration of the parti- 

■ cular licensing reflation etc., e.g. licensing and ins- 
pection of studios; issue of approval certificates by the 
Production Code Administration 

(d) A nominal contribution from recognised subsidiary asso- 


We need hardly justify these recommendations at any great length. 
Our proposal at (a) above is in accord with similar levies in other 
industries e.g., cotton, tea. lac. etc. The assesment of a cess on the 
footage of raw film will distribute the incidence fairly between large 
and small units as well as between films having a wide market and 
those having a restricted market. The lew of a cess on foreign films 
would be fully justified because thev would also benefit bv improve- 
ments in the exhibition sectqr as a result of research, and further it 
is only fair that they should also contribute for the benefit of the in- 
dustry as a whole. As regards (b). we feel that this is the best 
manner in which our recommendation that a part of the income from 
Entertainment tax should be utilised for the benefit of the industry 
and the cinema-going public can be implemented. Receipts under (c) 
and (d) are virtually contributions for services rendered. We woula 
like to make it clear that we do not sunport the levy of heavy 
charges for issuing certificates of approval by the Board of Censors. 


The expenditure on the Central Board of Film Censors should be met 
from the funds of the Council even during the period that it is 
maintained by the tlovernment, subject to a suitable monetary 
limit. It should not depend on certification fees for its operation, 
though it may continue to levy a small fee from Producers at the 
time of application for censorship to meet only the secretariat ex- 

541. Associations and Guilds. — We need hardly give any elaborate 
justification for the other functions which we have suggested for the 
proposed Council. We should, however, like to say a word or two 
about our recommendation regarding the Council’s approval of the 
regulations for the Associations cf Producers, Directors, etc. We have 
been struck by the lack of co-operation .amongst the various branches 
of the film industry. We have also found that for lack of proper as- 
sociations some of the branches are either in a disadvantageous posi- 
tion vis-a-vis others or are disintegrated into an undesirable free- 
lance individualism. We are quite convinced that these tendencies 
are neitlier good for the industry nor for the individual professions. 
If these various branches are to play a proper and effective role in 
the whole process of film production and have also to make a solid 
contribution to the healthy development of a great national under- 
taking, it is essential not only that these branches are properly orga- 
nised amongst themselves but also that they are able to enforce 
proper standards and rules cf discipline, obtain for their memoers 
equitable and reasonable terms and achieve a measure of co-opera- 
tion which will place them in a position in which they would be able 
to look at themselves both as individuals and as parts of a great in- 
dustrial machine and as important members of a great community. 
In many respects the film indust^ reminds one of a craft rather 
than of an industry or art; there is a measure of inter-dependence 
between the various branches which renders impossible any inde- 
pendence of conduct and action. After having given careful con- 
sideration to these various aspects we have come to the conclusion- 
that if the industry is to make necessary headway it is essential that 
the various branches should be encouraged and even compelled to 
form Associations on a basis which would be more akin to the Guilds 
rather than to some of the modem corporate associations. These as- 
sociations should have effective powers to take collective action 
against delinquents in their own fold, to ensure discipline amongst 
them and to create a common outlook and a feeling of common in- 
terests amongst their members. It seems to us unnecessary to have 
any separate legislation for these associations or guilds; instead, 
power can be given to the Film Council which can supervise their 
functioning and can act as an appellate authority over disciplinary 
and other important aspects of their activities. It is essential for 
the success of this svstem that by statute the industry should be 
required to have nothing to do with any unrecognised associations or 
with non-members. The rules of membership of these associations, 
the admission and expulsion of the members, the expiry of their 
membership, etc. should all be laid down by the Film Council but 
primarily enforced by the associations themselves. We hope that 
in this way unhealthy competition or inequality between members of 
various branches would be done awav with and the industrv would 
settle down to healthy traditions, with rules of conduct and terms 
and conditions of emoio 3 nTipnt based on collective rather than indi- 
vidual bargaining power. We may mention instances of action which? 


should be taken by such associations. One is about the participt' 
tion of artistes in a number of pictures at the same time. Both th# 
Association of Producers and the Association of Artistes should 
arrive at a working arrangement by which no artiste is permitted to 
take part in more than two pictures at a time and that, in turn, the 
productions themselves must be completed wtihin a reasonable time, 
say, six months, so that the artistes can feature in a maximum of four 
pictures in each year. Similarly the Association of Technicians 
should enter into arrangements with the Association of Producers 
regarding the rules for the training of apprentices and for the inter- 
change of technicians between this country and others. These two 
are only examples of co-operative action which we consider most 
urgently needed. 

542. It is our intention that representatives to the Film Council 
on behalf of Producers, Directors, Artistes, Technicians, etc. should be 
elected by the respective associations which would, we hope, have at 
the apex a federal or central association. Failing such an institution 
a suitable method of election from various associations could be de- 
vised. We would leave it to the Government to decide whether it 
would prefer to have one nominee in each case or an elected panel 
of names out of which it would make its own choice. In either case 
the representative capacity would be there and we have no strong 
preference for any particular alternative. 

543. Production Code Administration.— On the question of film 
themes and their treatment in pictures we have already expressed 
our strong inclination in favour of the setting up of a Production 
Code Administration. The remedy for the state of affairs which we 
have reviewed in Chapter IV lies in the establishment of such ar 
organisation practically on the lines of the Production Code Admi- 
nistration in the U.S.A. and to insist upon the shooting script being 
approved by such an organisation before the film is shot. Separate 
legislation would not be necessary for this purpose if the Govt, 
accepts our recommendation for the setting up of a Film Council 
and proceeds expeditiously to implement it. We envisage the l^o- 
duction Code Administration as an adjunct to the Film Council just 
as we visualise that in course of time the Council would be able ta 
take up the functions of the Board of Censors. But whether the 
•Council is set up or not or whether there is any delay, we wovdd re- 
commend that the Govt, should set up the Production Code Adminis- 
tration as soon as possible. For the first five to ten years depending 
on the experience of the working of the Production Code Administra- 
tion and of the Film Council, we consider that the Govt, should be 
responsible for the constitution and the administration of the P.C.A 
In other words, for this period the P.C.A. should function under the 
general supervision of the Central Ministry concerned but after 
this period, the Film Council should take over the P.C.A. while the 
Government should continue to nominate the heads of the P.C.A. in 
consultation with the Film Council. When, however, the Film Coun- 
cil develops into a full-fiedged controlling body and acquires the 
necessary objectivity required for the conduct of the P.C.A., Govt, 
should withdraw its control even over the constitution of tte P.CJl. 
and limit its choice only to the Chairman. 

We hope that there would be no constitutional difficulties la the 
•setting up of this or other bodies which we have recommended. If 
■there are, then in the interests of all concerned, it is essentid that 


they should be got out of the way. It is possible that the industry 
will offer to set up a body of its own in preference to an organisation 
sponsored by Govt. If such a claim is made we feel that it should be 
resisted. In this connection it might be worthwhile mentioning that 
the head of the Production Code Administration in the U.S.A. is not 
a naan drawn from the industry but one with a good record of public 
administration. The industry need not, therefore, object to the 
Production Code Administration being independent of the industry 
during the interim period and carrying on its work uninfluenced by 
conflicting interests. 

544. The functions of the P.C.A. should be the same as the func- 
tions of the P.C.A. in America. It should have four regional branches 
In Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, and a Central Office, the 
location of which could be decided later. Each Regional Committee 
should have five members and a Chairman (to be nominated by 
Govt.) — the members to represent as far as possible the regional 
languages. The Administration at the Centre should have the 
following membership:— 

1 Chairman (to be nominated by Govt. — preferably a man of 
judicial attainments with a good cultural backgroimd). 

4 Chairmen of the Regional Committees. 

1 member representing producers 

1 member representing the Finance Corporation 

1 member representing Government. 

1 educationist. 


545. Secrecy of production.— It is likely that the suggestion of 
submitting all scripts to a common office might arouse some opposi- 
tion, in view of the numerous cases of “piracy" of ideas that have 
been mentioned to us. Many witnesses, who have supported the idea 
of prior scrutiny of scripts, have raised this issue and asked us to 
suggest some nrotective measures. We feel that once it has been 
decided that all scripts should pass through a central office, cases of 
piracy would diminish instead of increasing, and that the best 
guarantee against piracy is contained in the provision that the in- 
fringing scripts also would be scrutinised by the same office ' and 
would be automatically rejected. 

54fi. In addition to the scrutiny of the original scriots the Produc- 
tion Code Administration would have to advise on changes adopted 
later by the producers, to give a certain measure of positive guidance 
and exercise some control over the handling of the o’ctures. It would 
therefore have to maintain an expert staff to be able to advise pro- 
ducers in the subseouent stages of handling of the ttiemes and pic- 
tures. Preouent consultations with producers would be necessary 
while the film is on the set and at the final stage when the nicture is 
completed, the entire film would have to be reviewed. We would, 
therefore lav all the emphasis at our command on the Production- 
Code Administration being assisted by a first rate body of experts. 


547. In the U.S.A., the P.C.A. charge individual producers a fee 
for services rendered, which varies according to the footage and 
budget of the picture, the average incidence on feature films being 
a fraction of one per cent of the budget. We recommend that only a 
nominal fee should be charged by the P.C.A. to be set up, and that 
its budget should be met from the Film Council fund. For the 
period the P.C.A. is operated by Government a monetary limit may 
be fixed, as in the case of the Boards of Censors, to the contribution 
from the Film Council funds towads its operation of expenses. 

643. Scrutiny to avoid wastage. — In the United States of America, 
the Production Code Administration came into being primarily to 
ensure that the films conformed to generally accepted standards of 
social behaviour and convention. We feel, however, that in India, 
such an Administration, by eliminating several sources of wastage, 
will in addition ensure considerable savings in the cost of production 
and in the total investment required for running the industry. Quite 
apart from the improvement in the selection of themes and their 
presentation, which we are confident will follow from prior scrutiny 
of scripts, we feel sure that the savings in the cost of production will 
largely exceed the industry’s expenditure on running the adminis- 

549. Saving of raw film consumption.— We also feel that with 
production based on completed plans, it would be possible to secure 
Mme reduction in the amount of raw film used. This is quite 
important by itself, apart from the saving in costs, since it would 
reduce the value of imports of this commodity. We have estimated 
the annual requirements of raw film on the basis of figures furnished 
by the industry. According to their estimate, the average footage 
shot is about five times the length of the finally edited negative. We 
are informed that in some cases the footage shot is ten or even 
twenty times the footage used and that the figures of five times 
represents a rather optimistic average. The proportion of negative 
film to positive film imported into the country would also support 
the belief that very much more film is wanted in the form of nega- 
tive than is currently realised. Since negative film costs much more 
than positive film, the monetary saving in this direction would be 
even greater than the overall reduction in the volmne of imports. 

550. One of the functions of the P.C.A. should be the scrutiny of 
publicity material and it should be possible for them to enforce the 
production, before them for approval, of every item of publicity 
material to be released with the film as well as advance photographs 
circulated to the film journals. In this connection we could not do 
better than base the code on the advertising code for motion pic- 
tures issued by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Appen- 
dix XVIH). 

551. We would also recommend that the Production Pmto 
nistration should be entrasted with the work of approving films for 

aims do not have a substantial export market outside Pakistan but 
as we have stated elsewhere, we think all the export markets must 
be and can be exoanded and that there would be sufficient field for 

Countries^ par- 
ticularly in the Middle East and Par East. In course of time an ex- 
port market of sizeable proportions might be established in the 


English speaking regions as well. The pictures which we send out 
from India should be representative of its culture, history, traditions 
and art. Ihey should also be messengers of peace and good-will. It 
is, therefore, necessary that the pictures intended for export are 
scrutinised from this point of view and, if necessary, altered to suit 
foreign markets. We cannot think of a better authority than the 
Production Code Administration to look to this important work. 
Such scrutiny should apply not merely to complete pictures but to 
stray scenes, sequences and process shots made in this country as 
well as to newsreel shots. It would follow as a natural corollary 
that film exposed in this country should not be sent abroad unless 
it has been processed for scrutiny by the P.C.A. 

552. Government supervision and control.— The recommends 
tions which we have made earlier would serve to centralise the admi- 
nistration of the industry in more than one respect. We visualise that 
in course of time the Film Council will be holding in its hands the 
important strings of the industry and the Production Code Adminis- 
tration will give an all-India direction to the tone and standard of 
the films. The other subsidiary organisations of the Film Council 
will, we are sure, help in giving a new turn to the wheel on which 
we laid emphasis in Chapter IV. The Film Finance Corporation 
suggested later in this Chapter will centralise in itself the bulk of 
the financial operations. The need for centralisation is, however, 
equally great in the governmental sphere. We have pointed out in 
Chapter III the multiplicity of the authorities, rules and regulations 
which it is the misfortune of the industry to deal with at present. 
We have no doubt that this multiplicity and the lack of co-ordination 
and uniformity constitutes a strangle-hold on the industry’s neck. 
Some of them are obstructive to its growth. Some definitely cause 
vexatious and avoidable delays. Many of the authorities concerned 
have hardly any proper appreciation of the needs and requirements 
of the industry and cannot, therefore, have a sympathetic imder- 
standing of these. The State Governments in the administration of 
such functions as fall within their domain, seem to operate more on 
an individualistic than collective basis. The enforcement machinery 
of the entertainment tax is not very effective except in a few States. 
An industry which has such tremendous potentialities and power, 
which has its branches spread far and wide like the historic banyan 
tree in the Botanical Gardens at Calcutta, which makes no mean con- 
tribution to the revenues of the States, should not be left to suffer 
under these handicaps. 

553. Central control of Industry. — ^At the time the Indian Cine- 
matograph Act was passed, there was very little production of films 
in this country, but for obvious reasons it was decided that the ex- 
hibition of films should be a matter of Central responsibility, both 
with regard to the sanctioning of films and the regulation of cinemas. 
Under the Act, the rule making powers were vested in the Governor- 
General in Council. Although these powers were transferred to the 
local Governments, by the Devolution Act of 1920, the legislative 
powers continued to remain with the Centre. The Cinematograph 
Enquiry Committee of 1927-28, which recognised the need for 

S idance and control of the industry, suggested the formation of d 
nema Department at the Centre to deid with the film industry. In 
^is connection, they said, “Ilie question arises as to the appropriate 
governmental authority for this work. The provincial authority 
suggests itself nataraUy in the first place since the development ei 


iodustrles is a provincial subject. But we may say at once thac 
we do not propose to leave this to the provinces. Evepr characteristic 

of the cinema industry makes it unsuitable for provincialisation 

Further, substantial results can be achieved only with the co-opera- 
tion and assistance of all provincial governments and the Indian 
States also. Moreover, the independent entry of the province into 
this field would mean such reduplicated and uneconomic effort. 

The Central Government is, therefore, obviously, indicated ” 

This recommendation was made because of the special nature of the 
industry, even though the sociological implications of the film had 
not been fully realised at that time. It is significant that they came 
to this conclusion even at a time when the transfer of powers to the 
Provinces was the only method for ensuring independent democratic 
control. Under t’le Government of India Act, 1935, the position 
under the Devolution Act was however maintained, and the Provin- 
cial Legi;?lative List included “theatres, dramatic perfcrmances and 
cinemas, but not including the sanction of cinematograph films for 
exhibition” (item 35), whereas Concurrent Legislative List Part II 
contained provision for sanctioning cinematograph films for exhibi- 

554. The Constltation Act. — The 1950 Constitution, which in such 
matters generally confirms the status qua, brought the cert'fication 
of films on to the Union List in view of the Indian Cinematograph 
(amendment) Act of 1949, but made no provision for Central regu- 
lation of the production of films or of the places where they are ex- 
hibited. Incidentally, the centralisation of the power to certify 
films happens to be the onW instance of action taken on the recom- 
mendations of the earlier Committee, and it was presumably con- 
sidered that any further action could await the recommendations of 
this Committee. 

555. Centralisation of responsibility.— Within the last twenty 
years, the industry has developed vety greatly, and today its scope 
and interests cover the whole country. The industrial unit consists 
of both theatres and studios, since neither can function without the 
other. Films produced in any State depend today upon exhibition 
in other States for commercial success. This link between produc- 
tion and exhibition makes the whole indust^ one indivisible unit, 
even though the parts may be located in different States. Taking 
first the production industry, we found even at the commencement 
of our enquiry that the State Governments do not possess the statis- 
tical information so essential for proper supervision and assistance 
io the industry, and also lack the direct contact which is essential 
for proper supervision. We find at the conclusion of our investiga- 
tion that its problems are of a nature that can be con^rehended omy 
when viewed as a whole. Moreover, many of the difficulties of the 
industry are of an all-India nature, being connected with the imnort 
of capital equipment, production-stores and raw film, the certifica- 
tion of films for exhibition, the raising of capital for the industry 
and die course of inter-State commerce. 

556. We consider the transfer of the production industry to the 
oontrol of the Centre would also help in the implementation of a co- 
ordinated policy of guidance in the production. The Centre is the 
em^totional authority to sanction the exhibition of films and any 
polioy whidi they deare diould be adooted Iqr producers. The 
•saeiel tone eai content of the films will need to be d l a eui wed te 


detail with the producers end made clear to them, and for this pul- 
pose means snoaid be devised to make such advice available to pro- 
ducers at every stage of the making of a him if the policy is to be 
ehectively implemented. We therefore recommend that legislative 
action snould oe taken immediately to declare the control of produc- 
tion of films by the Union expeaient in the public interest and 
thereby to entrust full responsibility for the production side of the 
industry to the Central Government. 

537. In the matter of the exhibition of films, we have pointed out 
the numerous diherences that exist between one State and another 
in the regulations regarding cinemas and the need for a common 
and high standard. We feel therefore that the regulation of cinemas 
would also prove more satisfactory if, as originally, the ruie-making 
powers were retained at the Centre. As in the case of a number of 
other Acts like the Arms Act or the Press Act which are also con- 
cerned with aspects of public safety and welfare, the executive 
autnority would be vested in the State Governments, but we feel it 
is essential to secure a uniformly high standard of safety in all the 
cinemas in the country and that this can best be brought about by 
the Centre taking direct interest in the matter. The review, earlier 
in this report, of the regulations now in force in different States 
would indicate the numerous gaps and omissions that require to be 
closed. We would suggest therefore that this matter should be 
placed in the Concurrent List enabling the Central Government to 
introduce legislation of general application to the whole country 
while the State Governments not merely administer the Act but 
also make such local rules as are necessitated by the difflerent con- 
ditions. Such Central responsibility should extend, in our opinion, 
not merely to cinemas but also to all places of public resort. We 
have reviewed in Chapter III the general conditions which should 
govern all such places in order to ensure the safety, life and con- 
venience of the people who visit them. A comprehensive code of re- 
gulations should, in our opinion, be drawn up by the Centre and 
made uniformly applicable to all places of public resort in all States 
of the Union. In addition, the Centre should also draw up a brief 
code covering cinemas in particular with special reference to the 
layout and safety devices in the projection booths as weM as to the 
question of visibility of the screen from all the seats in the audi- 
torium. The regulations in regard to projection booths should, 
however, be reduced to the minimum in the case of cinemas which 
show exclusively safety film. Such a concession would be perfectly 

J ustified and would also help to quicken the change-over from in- 
lanunable film to safety film, which, we consider, very necessary in 
&e interests of public safety. 

558. For the reasons which we have mentioned above we consider 
that to the extent that under the above recommendations the Centre 
wodd be responsible for certain activities of the fl^m industn, the 
responsibility of the Centre should be exercised through a Depart- 
ment which would co-ordinate, within the normal ministerial res- 
ponsibilitv. the various governmental activities relating to this in- 
dustrv. The Press and the Radio are branches dkin to the films. 
Publidty and Information are also kindred activities. In these cir- 
cumstances we feel that the best place for the department eon- 
fn at m wruld be the denaitment which is concerned with 
Him aetivitiea of the Coitral Government We realise that thmre 



might have to be some bifurcation in regard to the actual responsi- 
bility for the exhibition of films and for film production. Whatever 
this bifurcation may be, films as such should be the concern of one 
department which should deal with the industry and the public on 
this subject and should co-ordinate Government’s activities. There 
can be no objection, for instance, to the Department of Industry 
dealing with production of equipment or raw film, to the Commerce 
Department dealing with the import of raw films and machinery, 
and to the Information and Publicity Department dealing with the 
actual censorship of films. But it is the department concerned with 
Information and Publicity which should have general responsibility 
for films and should be able to represent to the other departments 
the needs of the industry. It should be for this department also to 
deal directly with the Film Council and, to the extent that it would 
be necessary for the Government to speak with one voice, the spokes- 
man of Government should be one Department or Ministry. 

559. Similarly, we would like that in the States there should be 
one department which would concern itself with the responsibility 
of the State for certain branches of this industry, particularly cinema 
houses. That Department also should preferably be associated with 
the Ministry which controls Information and Publicity. If, however, 
for any administrative reason all these branches are combined in the 
Home Department the department concerned should have control 
over the industry. The same co-ordination should be extended to 
the district sphere where the administration of the rules and regu- 
lations, licensing and other matters must be centralised in the Dis- 
trict Magistrate. It should not be necessary for the cinema-owndr 
or the licensee to knock at so many doors. The District Magistrate 
should act as the co-ordinating authority to put an application 
through the specialist authorities expeditiously and finally apprise 
the applicant of the decision on it. 

In particular, we would like to emphasise that early attention 
should be paid to ensuring minimum standards of amenities in 
cinema houses and regulating charges for admission on the basis of 
the amenities actually provided. We do not maintain that the 
amenities should be the deciding factor but that may be one of the 
important factors that should be taken into consideration. The 
hygienic and sanitary provisions made in the existing cinemas are 
generally of poor quality and inadequate. Proper attention should 
be paid to the necessity of making up this inadequacy. The improve- 
ment in the machinery of enforcement which we have suggested 
earlier must cover this particular aspect as well. 

560. The improvement of the enforcement machinery of the 
collection of entertainment duty also requires immediate attention. 
We were struck by the improvement in the collections which the 
organisation in the U.P. has been able to show recently as a result 
of strengthening the enforcement staff. We have no aoubt that if 
that machinery were further strengthened in U.P. and similar ad- 
ministrations were set up in other States on a comnarable basis not 
only will there be a substantial improvement in the income from 
this levy but indirectly the producer also will benefit by an increase 
in the divisible share between the exhibitor and the distributor. The 
general trend of the evidence laid before us was that there is con- 
siderable leakage at the exhibitor’s level, that as a result pf this 
leakage the exfhibitor and his subordinate staff benefit at the ex- 
pense both of the distributor, producer and the public revenues 


and that illegal practices extend even to the forging of tickets or 
using the same ticket a number of times. We have reason to believe 
that at present the States Governments are losing at least a part of 
their revenue which is their due, and that with the uniform applica- 
tion of suitably devised measures, the revenue in each State could 
be improved even if the rate of duty is reduced. 

561. In this connection, we would like to refer to the present 
restrictions on the footage of films which may be censored and/or 
exhibited. As we have discussed earlier, we feel that this restric- 
tion has not achieved any of the results planned for or even hoped 
for. We recommend, therefore, that this restriction should be with- 
drawn. We have recommended the establishment of a Production 
Code Administration which we expect would more directly bring 
about an improvement in the standard, of Aims. We have also 
given reasons how this and other measures that we have suggested 
would bring about more effectively a reduction in the total con- 
sumption of raw film in thib country. We have incidentally pointed 
out that in spite of the restriction on the total footage of each film 
there has been no limit placed on the duration of a show. In our 
view, this is the point which requires special attention. We recom- 
mend that in any show there should not be a display of pictures on 
the screen for a duration in excess of 120 minutes without inter- 
ruption, Shows of longer durations should be split up so that each 
part does not exceed the duration mentioned above and is separated 
by at least 10 minutes from the next part of the show. Further, 
there must be a gap of at least 20 minuter, between one show and 
another in order to enable tiiC outgoing audience to leave their 
seats conveniently and for the incoming audience to take up their 
seats while at the same the doors arc tept open for change of air. 
Exhibitors would naturally like to hold as many shows in a day as 
possible and moreover the cinema-going audiences have certain 
preferences in the matter of timings which the exhibitor would not 
like to ignore. Taken in conjunction with the limits already laid 
in most States for the closing hour of the Jast show of the day, we 
feel that these recommendations which we consider essential in the 
interests of the health and welfare of the audience would by them- 
selves bring about a gradual reduction in the length of feature 
films and that too in a manner which could not be misinterpreted 
as interference with the right of the producer to tell his story in, 
the fashion he considers most suitable. 


562. We have given careful consideration to the solution 
of the problem of finance for the producers and have come 
to the conclusion that the establishment of a Film Finance Corpo- 
ration, suggested by many producers and others engaged in the 
industry is both urgent and essential. We have already indicated 
the reasons why a film producer is at a particular disadvantage in 
raising finance on easy rates of interest compared with his counter- 
part in other industries. If the film industry is to be rehabilitated 
and its future as a great nation building enterprise to be assured, 
we see r<o escape from regulated finance made available through 
an institution which could be depended upon to observe the rules 
of payment and to render genuine help and assistance to the 



indi4f;i.r.y , We, therefore, fully cr.dorsc this suggestion.- In our view 
this Fiid-. Finiice Corporation for the reasons which we have 
stated in Chapter Y should have a capital of Rs. 1 crore with 
authority to borrow anather Rs. I croi'e with the previous sanction 
of tho Co /ernment of India, by the issue of bonds and debentures. 
As the industry d<.‘velops, the need for finance would grow. To 
meet this contingency there should be a provision that with the 
sanction of the Central Government the limit of borrowing could 
be iiiercasc'd us also the amount of capital. The capital required 
for this Corporation should be subscribed in such manner as to give 
the various interested concerns, n-jmely, the State, the community 
and the industry ,a stake in its operations. For Stale finance we 
suggest that at least one-half of the capital should be raised by the 
Central and State Governments together. We have no doubt that 
if the State Governments could contribute at the initial stage 
5 per cent, of the revenue that they collect from the levy of enter- 
tainment duty it would be both a real service to the film industry 
and a productive investment. We expect Rs. 30 lakhs to be raised 
on this basis in one year. V/e feel that the Central Government 
should make a contribution of Rs. 20 lakhs, and the balance should 
be raised from public subscriptions and from the industry in such 
suitable manner as might be decided by the Central Government. 
In other respects, we would like the relationship between Govern- 
ment, this Corporation and the film industry to be based on the 
lines of the relationship of Government, the Industrial Finance 
Corporation and the industrial units. As regards its functioning, 
we have already given a detailed picture in Chapter V. We have 
examined various aspects of such financing arrangements in that 
Chapter and would like those principles and suggestions to be 
applied to the proposed Film Finance Corporation. In particular, 
we would like to emphasise thai it si--: -aid be c i indispensable 
condition of film pr-'-duction that the producer should raise on his 
own at least 25 per cent, oi 'he cupitcj required, that the Film 
Finncc Coiporatior .-.hould he ar-soci.nted 'h’ough its expert repre- 
sentatives and at a.i appropriate stage with the functioning of the 
Production Code Administration, that the terms and conditions to be 
settled bet'.veen the producer md the disYibutor .must be within 
the cognizance of th? Corporation and finalised only with its 
approval, that in making loans care should be taken that the 
advance is made in instalments, second and subsequent payments 
being made only after satisfactory accounting of the utilisation of 
pre'-’ious iiistalments. that the share of the contribution by the 
producers deposited with the Corporation should be the last to be 
used, and that the first claim on the distributor’s advances or the 
producer’s earnings should be that of the Corporation. We would 
also like to provide that in any scheme of distribution of raw stock, 
films and chemicals, the needs of the producers financed by the 
Film Corporation should claim priority. We consider that with 
these safeguards there is no reason to suppose that any unusual 
risk could be involved in the financial operations of this Corporation, 
It (Should even be possible for scheduled banks to make funds avail- 
able to the Corporation at reasonable rates of interest so as to 
enable it to advance loans to the producers at a rate not exceeding 
9 per cent, or so, though the details of such a procedure would need 
to be worked out carefully to provide suitable safeguards. 


563. We have made recommendations specifically for the financ- 
ing of producers because in our opinion it is in their case that the 
greatest difficulty lies in financing by the floatation of joint stock- 
companies. In the case of studio operation, distribution or exhibi- 
tion. we do not envisage the same difficulty in raising capital in the 
market. We have already indicated our estimates of the total capi- 
tal requirements of the industry and we would recommend these 
figures for the consideration of the Government in sanctioning new 
floatations for any of the sectors in the industry. 


564. We have gone carefully into the question of the different 
taxes payable by the film industr\\ We are not examining the 
incidence of such taxes as are paid also by other industries such as, 
for instance, sales tax on raw materials and finished products, duty 
on the consumption of electricity, taxes on buildings and water 
supply, trade or professional taxes levied by municipalities, etc. 
The taxes specifically paid by the film industry may be roughly 
classified as follows: — 

585. import duty on raw materials and machinery.— We have 
pointed earlier that the machinery and equipment needed for- the 
film industry both for production and exhibition are charged at 
rates of duties similar to those charged for other machinery and 
we do not therefore recommend any change in the practice. In the 
case of raw film also, the revenue duty is not higher than for similar 
goods and we see no case for concessions. It is necessary to keep 
in mind the need for building up the manufacture of this commodity 
in India and we expect that when factories are set up in this 
country, the duty may have to be changed from a revenue duty to 
a protective duty. In the case of chemicals the case for protective 
duties is being periodically reviewed by the Tariff Board, since a 
number of chemicals needed for the film industry are already being 
manufactured in this country. In this case, as in the case of make 
up malerial, the aveiage incidence of customs duty is comparabie 
to that for similar products imported by other industries and we 
arc therefore unable to recommend any concessions. 

566. Entertainment tax.--We have referred earlier to the 
anomalies created by the present tariffs for the levy of entertain- 
ment tax and the fact that these tariffs have resulted in admission 
prices being fixed according to taxation slabs, irrespective of the 
economics of the theatre or the spending habits of the local popu- 
lation. Unless the tariffs are rationalised, this state of affairs is 
bound to continue. Witnesses referred to the tendency for a large 
number of seats to be empty in the higher classes. This may be 
attributed to the workings of the present tariffs which make it 
extremely difficult for the theatre-owner to fix appropriate figures 
for the admission charges. 

567. The detailed statistics furnished by Madras State, the only 
State which had complied with our request in this matter, shov/ed 
that at least in their case, the bulk of the revenue is derived from 
the lower-priced seats, and there seem to be no grounds for the 
fears expressed that if there is a uniform tariff, the average may 
have to be raised very much in order to keep the total revenue at 
the same figure. If, in spite of the much hijjjier rate of tax, the 


higher-priced seats furnish only a fraction of the total revenue, there 
would seem to be support for the view expressed by some witnesses 
that would be visitors to the higher-priced seats are today being 
forced to the lower-priced seats, or alternatively, prevented from 
seeing the cinema as frequently as they would like, both because 
of the excessive taxation as- well as the large jumps in price from 
one class to another. Several witnesses in one area have mentioned 
the thin attendance in the higher-priced seats. This is also 
supported by the returns from another area where revenue from 
seats costing more than Rs. 2 (overall) dropped in 1949-50. A 
rationalised system of taxation and of pricing should keep all the 
seats in the cinema fairly full. The division of the available seating 
capacity into various classes would depend upon the locality and 
the clientele but with any particular distribution, the maximum of 
attendance can be secured only by rationalising admission prices, 
and this in turn would be possible only with a rationalised tariff. 

568. If the tariff adopted is not to hinder the exhibitor from 
fixing suitable prices for the various classes of seats in his theatre, 
it will have to be based on the total price paid on each case by the 
public and not on the net amount which falls to the share of the 

569. The most satisfactory solution in our view is to fix a uniform 
ad valorem tariff for all seats. As has been mentioned earlier, there 
is reason for believing that excessive taxation of the higher-priced 
seats leads to a reduction in revenue both to the theatre and to 
Government. It seems doubtful whether the exemption of cheap 
seats from taxation is really serving any purpose. The present costs 
of operation particularly in towns are so high that tickets are very 
rarely below the free maxima and so the exemption does not really 
benefit any one now. It has been suggested that if shows in thinly 
populated areas are encouraged by exempting them completely 
from entertainment tax, the owners of touring cinemas will go 
farther afield and take the cinemas into the villages. In Britain, 
a similar exemption is given to cinemas located in villages of less 
than a specified population. But there are no touring cinemas to 
speak of in Britain and it is easy to decide whether a particular 
cinema should be tax-free. In India, however, with the large and 
growing number of touring cinemas, such a distinction based on 
location of the cinema would give rise to administrative difficulties. 
We recommend therefore that (a) Entertainment tax should be 
levied in the case of admission to all classes of seats at a fixed 
percentage of the gross price of admission; and (b) that no exemp- 
tion should be granted in the case of any seats. 

570. On a general view, it would seem that the tax should be 
fixed at the level of 20 per cent, on the gross takings. This is about 
the average incidence of tax in Madras, Delhi, East Pvmjab, and 
slightly lower than the present average in West Bengal, Uttar 
Pradesh or Bombay. (An exact computation of present incidence is 
not possible because with a sliding tariff, the average would depend 
upon the number of seats of each category in every cinema). A flat 
rate of 20 per cent, on the gross would give the industry a certain 
measure of relief in most cases, but would not affect the revenues 
appreciably. By permitting re-adjustment of ticket-prices it would 
have the effect of Ailing the higher-priced seats more .regularly and 
consequently bringing in larger revenues. Assessing the tax on the 


gross ticket value instead of the net figure not merely eliminates 
all anomalies but has the psychological advantage of making the tax 
appear lower than otherwise; i.e., a tax of 25 per ctni. on net 
charges is the same as a tax of 20 per cent, on gross charges, but the 
apparent incidence is less. On this basis, the leveiuies will not be 
much less than at present, and in all probability may be more. 
But it gives the exhibitor considerable freedom in fixing the rates. 
We may add that we find no necessity or justification for different 
rates of tax according to the country of origin of the films being 

571. VJe have already suggested that up to 10 per cent, of the 
returns from the entertainment duty should be made available to 
the proposed Film Council in order to enable it to finance its 
different activities. We feel that this is reasonable proportion 
which it is incumbent on the State Governments to divert from 
general purposes to the specific purpose of the industry and we 
earnesily hope that they will not grudge this sacrifice. After all, 
healthy leisure and entertainment are as much assets to the State 
as they are exhilarating to the individual; in the long run the State 
benefits indirectly from the healthy individual which a healthy 
leigure makes. We feel tiiat the sacrifice asked for of the State 
Governments is in no .sense disproportionate to the benefits which 
would indirectly accrue to them, 

572. We have also suggested that part of the initial capital for 
the Film Finance Corporation should be made up by contributions 
from States to the extent of 5 per cent, of their revenue from Enter- 
tainment tax. This contribution would, however, be of the nature 
of a dividend bearing investment, and would further be needed only 
for one year or two. 

573. Certification fees.— We have already referred to the 
very large increase in the fees for certification of films for exhibh 
tion. We recommend that the fee charged from producers for the 
issue of a certificate should be nominal. The cost of 'maintaining 
and administering the Certifying Board should properly be met from 
other revenues derived from the industry and our recommendations 
in this connection are to be found elsewhere in this Chapter. 

574. Octroi and terminal taxes. — These charges are being 
levied on films in transit from one town or State to another town 
or State. As we have already stressed, films are not sent to a parti- 
cular destination for consumption on the spot but are merely articles 
in transit, the utility of the film not being totally exhausted at any 
of the interim stages. We recommend, therefore, that cinema films 
should be exempted from the levy of such charges. 

575. Internal customs duty.— Customs duty continues to be 
levied on goods entering certain Part B States. This anachronism 
would, we expect, vanish in a short time and we do not. therefore, 
consider it necessary to make any recommendations for the abolition 
of such duties. 

576. Police charges. — In different States, charges are levied 
from exhibitors by the police either for posting policemen for pr^ 
serving law and order at’ the cihenias or for looking after traffic in 
front of the cinemas. We consider that these duties should be 


undertaken by the police as part of their responsibility for main- 
taining law and order or for regulating traffic in the town and that 
no special fee should be levied from the exhibitors unless policemen 
are detaHed for such special duties at their express desire. 

577. Licence fees.— Fees are charged for the issue of licences 

for the storage of filnis or for the operation of cinemas. In both 

these cases we feel that the fee charged should cover only the actual 
over-head charges on the issue of the licence and should not be 
made a source of revenue. In this connection, we would refer 

specially to the fees charged for storage licences of which mention 

has already been made in the body of the report. We would also 
like to stress in this connection that the question of licensing storage 
vaults arises only in connection with the storage of inflammable 
film. Taking advantage, however, of the mention of cinema film 
as one of the items for the storage of which municipal bodies might 
issue licences and charge fees, certain municipalities appear to be 
charging fees even for the storage of non-inflammable film. This 
practice will have to be put an end to by making necessary amend- 
ments to the municipal acts, making it clear that only inflammable 
film is contemplated in the provision. 

578. Show tax.— We feel that it would be an essential 
principle of taxation that no one should be taxed twice in respect 
of the same item or function. We have quoted a judicial decision 
that the levy of a show tax on cinemas by municipalities is really 
a tax on entertainment and therefore acts as a second tax on the 
cinemas which are already liable to Entertainment tax. We recom- 
mend that this anomaly should be removed, by legislation if neces- 
sary. It would, of course, be open to the rAunicipalities to levy 
building and other taxes on the cinemas but a second Entertainment 
tax seems unfair. In certain cases, e.g., Madras, a show tax appears 
to be authorised specifically by the State Governments. Even here, 
this would have the effect of a second Entertainment tax and should 
therefore be avoided. 

579. Income-tax.— We have referred in the body of the report 
to the present procedure for estimating the value of a film at the 
end of the first, second and third years for the purpose of assessing 
income-tax and to the inapplicability of the formula in a number of 
cases. We have also indicated our own estimate of the rate at which 
revenues from a film are realised by the producer or distributor. 
We would recommend to the Income-tax authorities a revision of 
the present procedure and the adoption of this formula which we 
consider more in keeping with current conditions;— 

Isl fuur* months 

10% per month 

2iul '*0 1’ mo nths 

«% „ „ 


0% .» *. 

4th „ 

2% „ 

oth ff ,, 

2% ., 

6th „ 

'2% „ „ 

Alternatively, the producers and the distributors may be permitted 
to pay income-tax provisionally as they 'earn their revenues and 
the assessment may be re-adjusted at the end of twenty-four months 
from the date of release. 


530. It has been represented to us that expenditure on periodical 
renovation of cinemas and fittings is not permitted to be deducted 
as operating expenses before income-tax is assessed. Wc feel that 
such expenditure to a reasonable extent is a legitimate first charge 
on the revenues earned by the theatre and that the rate of depre- 
ciation and obsolescence in the case of both the technical equipment 
and the theatre furniture should be fixed in accordance with actual 
experience taking into account the severe conditions of usage. , 

581. In the case of artistes, wc recommend that their earnings 
should be treated as professional income and that they should be 
permitted to pay income-tax after deducting all expenditure for 
professional reasons. Such expenses would obviously include ex- 
penditure on coaching in music, acting, languages or diction, dis- 
ability insurance, expenditure on professional secretaries or press 
agents, commissions paid to agents for securing contracts etc. 
Obviously this deduction of legitimate expenses should be permit- 
ted only in the case of those returns where the income-tax authorities 
are convinced that the figures submitted are accurate. We have 
already referred to our doubts amounting to conviction that in the 
case of a number of artistes the fees drawn openly are only a frac- 
tion of the amounts that they actually gel for each picture, and we 
desire to bring this to the notice of the income-tax avithorities and 
to draw their attention to the possibility that this and other such 
payments are concealed in the expenditure returnee of the producers 
by the device of padding up the budget on other Hems. 

582. The cumulative effect of these recommendations ought to 
be the systeuiatisation of the methods of taxation, the simplification 
of the levy, the return of a part of the levy to the industry, and the 
lightening of the burden on the industry. We consider that improve- 
ment in these directions is vital to its growth, prosperity and quali- 
tative betterment. 

583. Revenues : allocation. — What we have said earlier as regards 
the relationship betw^een the producer, the distributor and the 
exhibitor should indicate that there is scope for readjustment of 
their respective claims to the fruits of the industry. To a large 
extent the lessening of the anxiety of the producer in regard to 
his finance, in consequence of the establishment of the Film Finance 
Corporation, would place him in a better bargaining position vis-a- 
vis the distributor and the exhibitor. Jn regard to the relationship 
betw^een the distributor and the producer we have already stipulated 
that where a producer takes a loan from the Film Finance Corpora- 
tion the terms and conditions should be subject to the approval of 
the Coiporation. We would prefer that the financial cerms between 
a producer and distributor should be strictly on a percentage basis 
making some allowance for the case, where the distributor would 
have to grant an advance accommodation to the producer. With the 
publicity expenses subjected to a specified limit under regulations 
to be framed by the Film Council there would be considerable 
check on unfair and undesirable competition. As a result of the 
setting up of the Film Council and the Pi'oduction Code A.dminis- 
tration, we expect that the distributor’s business’ would be favour- 
ably affected by these changes and to that extern; he should be in a 
positiori to afford better accommodation to the producer. We w^ould 

20 « 

like to give the present system of trade a trial under the new dis- 
pensation which we have proposed above. If the first year or two 
of the experiment indicates that a balance and adjustment have 
not been restored between the producer and the distributor, the 
Government should authorise the Film Finance Corporation to set 
up a subsidiary distributing concern which could exploit the pictures 
financed by the Corporation. For this purpose an enabling provision 
should be made in such legislation as Government might devise to 
set up the Film Finance Corporation. At the same time the distn- 
butor and the exhibitor are indispensable factors in the sale of the 
producers goods and bringing them within the reach of the con- 
sumer. It is usual to consider the distributor only as a middleman. 
But in a country like India where production is dispersed over a 
hundred units or more, and there are no large chains of cinemas 
under unified control, both the producer and exhibitor find it essen- 
tial to employ a distributor as .intermediary. The exhibitor on his 
side is directly concerned about ensuring a supply of pictures at 
periodic intervals for his cinema or cinemas. In a large majonty 
of cases the exhibitor is not the owner of the cinema building but 
a lessee. In respect of his business he is a mere licensee. In respect 
■of the films which he shows in the cinema house he is a temporary 
holder of the goods under certain conditions which are laid down 
by the distributor. These are the factors which we must bear in 
mind when wo consider any scheme of adjustment of relationship 
between these three functionaries. We have also to take note of the 
fact that at present expenditure on improving the amenities or reno- 
vating and mod(f?rni./!:ing the cinema is low down on the exhibitor’s 
list of expensois, except in some of the important towns where under 
pressure of competition exhibitors have to place it fairly high in 
the list of priorities. The share which the exhibitor gets out of the 
■cinema revenues is substantial. Particularly, in old and popular 
cinemas the exhibitor’s return is high compared to the amount of 
his investment on the building and equipment, while the acoustic, 
hygienic and sanitary conditions in cinema and the quality of equip- 
ment are not often of a standard in keeping with the returns. Com- 
plaints have been irrde to us tliat while some exhibitors do try to 
re-invesl a part of their earnings in the industry, most of the earn- 
ings are simply lost to the film business. At the sanffe time it would 
be only fair on our part to say, as we have said earlier, that the 
conditions of the contract between the distributor and the exhibitor 
are at present one-sided, apart from the actual terms. 

Opinion in the film industry seems to be crystallizing in favour 
of a fixed percentage rather than a minimum guarantee on the one 
hand or assured rentals or house-protection on the other. We our- 
selves fully endorse this proposition though we are not quite certain 
whether the industry could so suddenly change all alternative forms 
of contract to a fixed percentage basis. Whatever basis finds favour 
with the various interests involved, it can be tried for some time 
until the Film Council is sufficiently established to give Govern- 
ment authoritative advice. The position could then be reviewed and 
the decisions in favour of any particular basis should be enforced by 
the Council. We should like to add that in the determination of 
this question neither the Government nor the proposed Film Council 
should be led away by any particular clamour from producers or 

20 » 

ejfttiibitors. As we have inciicated earlier there are periods when 
the producers are in a position of advantage tns-a-vis exhibitors. A 
time comes when the exhibitor is able to hold his own against the 
producer. When the Committee started its deliberations the latter 
state of affairs prevailed and towards the close of its labours the 
pendulum is tending to swing the other way. A time may come 
soon when the producer would have a better bargaining position. 

584. Revenues: augmentation. — In consequence of the increase in 
the costs of production, some elements of which are outside the 
control of the producers, it is more than ever necessary that the 
revenues of the industry should be improved if it is to continue on a 
sound basis. We have already indicated that the present revenues 
would barely sustain more than 200 productions a year and that too 
only if costs can be kept to the minimum. It is essential that the 
industry should have full scope for its development and also provide 
greater variety for the cinema-goer if this can be achieved without 
undermining the economic soundness of the industry. For this pur- 
pose, it will be necessary to increase the total revenues of the 

585. We have indicated elsewhere that in our view llie fixation 
of a rationing tariff for the Entertainment tax would enable each 
theatre to take in more money by distributing the burden of taxation 
equitably and permitting the exhibitor to fix admission rates accord- 
ing to the economic needs of the area. Tlris by itself would go to 
swell the revenues ol the industry but the increase may no; be ade- 
quate for the purpose in view. From the point of view oi the 
industry^ it is essential thpt the number of cinemas in the country 
should be increased substantially and that a large proportion of the 
new cinemas should be established in the areas not yet adequately 

586. Looking at it also from the point of view of the public, we 
consider it necessary that this cheap source of amusement which, if 
properly supervised, could provide both education and healthy enter- 
tainment, should be made available to a bigger section of the popu- 
lation. This. is a matter which requires the attention of the State 
also. We have already indicated our view that it should be part of 
the responsibility of the State to ensure the provision of healthy 
entertainment for its citizens. 

587. It is essential for this purpose that there should be a change 
in the attitude of the State towards the opening of new cinemas. 
Where they can be constructed without the use of controlled 
materials, obstacles should not be placed in the way of intending 
builders. Similarly in the matter of licensing, while we are in favour 
of careful scrutiny of applications from the point of view of location 
of the cinemas, we recommend that once the site has been approved, 
the applicant for the licence should not be subjected to vexatious 
delays. The construction of cinemas should not. be a matter of 
personal or individual prejudice but have its proper place in the 
list of priorities for local development and wherever controlled 
materials are needed either for improvements to existing cinemas or 
for the construction of new cinemas, these should be granted accord- 
ing to the priorities fixed. 


588. A very essential need in our view is for the development df 
touring cinemas to visit rural areas. It is essential that these should 
not be permitted to be located in areas where they would compete 
with permanently located cinemas and lead to a deterioration in 
the amenities oiitrcd to the public. This, how’ever, can be guarded 
against by rules similar to those already existing in some States fix- 
ing the minimum distance oetween such temporary cinemas and 
permanent cinemas. Sucii rules regarding minimum separation 
would of course apply only to touring cinemas regularly showing 
feature films and not to shows arranged for the benefit of special 
groups, e.g. shows for industrial workers or school children. The 
licences granted to touring cinemas should enable them not merely 
to visit all parts of a district but also to move from one district to 
another within the same State. 

589. We feel that export of films which we consider an important 
source of additional revenues to the industry has not received the 
attention that it deserves except in the case of the market in Pakistan 
which only recently became an export area, producers and distri- 
butors have not taken sufficient measures to secure business. In 
the case of Pakistan, the main difficulty appears to be that the film 
industry is lost sight of in the negotiation of trade pacts. We recom- 
mend that this interchange of films which would serve to promote 
mutual understanding and goodwill should receive special considera- 
tion at the hands of Government. In the case of the other difficulty 
mentioned by the industry, the higher rate of duty on Pakistani 
films imported into India than on Indian films imported into Pakistan, 
we would recommend for the consideration of Government the 
possibility of treating Pakistan in this matter as Butma has been 
treated in the matter of customs duties by being placed in a special 
category. While such special treatment may not be justified in the 
case of all commodities of Indo-Pakistan trade, the case of films 
deserves special consideration. We may mention that any reduction 
in revenue consequent on such preferential treatment to Pakistani 
films imported into India may be more than made up by the addi- 
tional income-tax receipts from revenues earned in Pakistan from 
Indian films exported there. 

590 Even in the case of the other export areas, we feel that there 
is scope for greater assistance from the Commercial Attaches to our 
various Embassies. This, however, would not by itself serve to 
develop a nourishing export trade in Indian films, and it is essential 
for the film industry to take more active measures than hitherto. We 
would recommend in this connection the formation of an Export 
Corporation for the entire film industry which would open offices 
abroad vind take over for distribution any films that may be entrusted 
to the Corporation by individual distributors or producers. This 
would bo similar to the practice already adopted in France and 
would reduce overhead charges as well as help in developing markets 
which might otherwise be too small to deserve the attention of indi- 
vidual distributors. 

591. We would also recommend to the film industry the produc- 
tion of pictures with an eye on the different export markets. We 
consider that even in Western countries the exhibitors might be able 
to find a market for Indian films since people there clemanci a certain 
amount of variety in their daily fare, and Indian producers should 


consider the possibility of producing English, versions oi features 
which, they feel, would have universal appeal or special appeal to 
Western audiences. Versions of pictures for export to the West 
could also be made by using sub-titles and captions. Even for the 
markets in the Middle East and the Far East, we would recommend 
the production of special versions of the films produced for local 
consumption, every attempt being made to eliminate redundancy or 
circumlocution, how^ever suitable producers may consider these for 
home markets. 

Competition from foreign films 

592. In the course of our examination of the film industry in this 
country, we have also surveyed the effect of the competition of 
foreign films with those of indigenous origin. From the latest figures 
available to us, it would appear that the total earnings of films 
imported into this country is less than 10 per cent, of the revenue 
from Indian films, and that — 

(a) there is very little competition in respect of screening time 

• because imported films are shown exclusively in a few 
theatres; and 

(b) there is almost no competition for the cinema-goers’ money 

since the normal audiences for Indian and foreign 
pictures rarely overlap. 

The exceptions to (a) arc when foreign films are shown in a few 
theatres in the bigger cities in the most suitable and, owing 
to present restrictions, it is not possible to build more cinemas in 
the same area. Indian producers have urged that even these cinemas 
should be compelled to show a small auota of Indian films. In view 
of the small number of such cases involved, we do not consider it 
necessary to make any recommendations in the matter. As far as 
(b), competition for the cinema-goers’ money, is concerned, it is 
generally agreed that such competition would arise only in those 
cases where the imported films have their dialogue dubbed in Indian 
languages. This, according to Indian producers, was unfair competi- 
tion because the bulk of the production costs were recovered in other 
markets and the preparation of a dubbed version really amounted 
to dumping of the commodity in that it was offered at rates below 
w^hat would be dictated if substantial proportions of the costs of 
production had to be earned m thi?' country. We feel that to some 
extent this applies to the English language versions also, but we 
agree that the Indian film industry should be protected against un- 
fair competition from such dubbed versions. We thercfoi'e recom- 
mend that films in Indian languages imported from abroad should 
not be permitted tc circulate in this country unless in each case the 
Production Code Administration are convinced that the film possesses 
special merit by way of being a classic or of great educational, histori- 
cal or artistic value. This would not, of course, apply to films pro- 
duced abroad primarily in Indian languages and for. the Indian 
market. We feel that in such cases the competition would really be 
helpful by stimulating our producers to greater efforts in the im- 
provement of standards of presentation. 

593, Allied to this is the question' of the extent to which foreign 
manufacturers should be permitted to produce films in this country. 
We have already stated our reasons for deciding that all such films 


shot in this country should be processed and approved by the Pro- 
duction Code Administration before being permitted to be exported. 
As regards the economic aspect of such production, we feel that en- 
couragement should be given to producers from abroad for making 
films in this country just as much as our producers must be encourag- 
ed to go abroad for making their own pictures. Such two-way traffic 
would, in our view, be helpful both to the industry here and to 
cinema-goers. If, however, at any time the Film Council feel that 
the extent to which foreign capital is being invested in film produc- 
tion in this country is such as to have an adverse effect on the local 
industry, they should draw the attention of the Government of India 
to the facts so that necessary measures may be taken to protect the 
Indian industry. 

594. One suggestion that has been made in this connection is that 
a certain proportion of the earnings of foreign films in this country 
should be compulsorily invested in the film industry in India. 
Opinions are. however, divided about this, and there is some fea 
that any large-scale investment of this type would result in the 
transfer of control over the film industry from Indian to foreign 
hands. In view of the large amount of capital already invested in 
the industry from Indian sources and the small amounts remitted 
abroad in I'espect of foreign films, we do not feel either that the 
additional invcstm-ent would be large enough to be helpful or so 
serious as to be dangerous. We have already recommended the levy 
of a cess for the improvement of the industry from imported films 
ah;'. This contribution tovcards the improvement of the local 
industry is both equitable and, in our view, sufficient. 

585. We have already drawn attention to the lack of co-ordination 
in the various measures for exercising a check on the foreign 
currency commitments entered into in respect of imported films 
being shown in this country. .The present system of licensing imports 
on the declared value does not serve any purpose, and there is no 
need to continue this. On the other hand, it is essential that at the 
time of permitting imports we should know exactly oui' commit- 
ments in respect of foreign currency. We recommend therefore that 
import licences should be granted in terms of remittances permitted, 
i.c., that in respect of each feature or short brought into this country 
from abroad, the importer should declare the amount of foreign 
currency that he pr.>poses ultimately to remit, and any ceiling pre- 
scribed in respect of imported films should really apply to such 
remittances. The details of such an afrangement would have to be 
worked out in consultation with the trade, because in most cases, 
as we have point( d out, the films are received more or less on con- 
•signment account for exhibition in this country. 

596.. There is tlie allied question of taxation on these films in the 
form of customs duty at the time of importation as well as income- 
tax Oil profits earned. We have pointed out earlier in the report the 
loopholes in the present system which we recommend should be 
closed so that State reve.nues may benefit to the fullest extent. We 
would add that in the matter of customs duty, the assessment of a 
flat rate both on shorts and feature films appears to be unsatisfactory 
in view of the considerably smaller earning povrers of the shorts. 
The administrative details would have to be so worked out that the 
incidence of the duty is reasonable in each case and that the profits 
of distribution are also taxed equitably. 


Training Institutions 

597. In the Chapter on production, we have discussed in detail 
the special qualifications required both for artistes and for technicians, 
and after examining the facilities available for imparting such train- 
ing, we have come to the conclusion that special training would need 
to be given in institutions that concentrate all their efforts on the 
needs of the film industry. 

598. We understand that certain Universities have already taken 
up the idea of starting a faculty of fine arts where such subjects 
would be taught. This is no doubt a move in the right direction 
and we would wish them all success. Eren apart from any practical 
application to which the students could put the training t!;at they 
receive in the University, there is no doubt that training i s these 
directions in itself w’ould make a fuller citizen and remove the stigma 
that unfortunately still attaches to this profession and we feel that 
such courses deserve the support of educationists and the public. 
We consider, however, that the specialised needs of the film industry 
cannot be met by such general courses of instruction and there is 
need for specialised institutions w'bere such students can be given 
training before a camera and learn from actual films of their own 
acting. For this, as for the training of technicians, it is necessary 
that the training institution should have a fairly well-equipped 
studio complete with a processing laboratory, and we would suggest 
that both kinds of training should be given in the same institution. 

599. There has been some difference of opinion regarding the type 
of stude’it who has the best chance of success at the training insti- 
tutions. Experienced stage producers have told us that very often 
those Avho have passed through a college have got so set in thch’ ways 
that they find it difficult to let themselves be moulded by their 
tutors; it was their experience that youths fresh from the high 
school turn out to be more promising than college _student.s. All wit- 
nesses were, however, agreed that it was necessary for every student 
to have a certain minimum background of education. 

600. In our view, the institution should not be exclusive in its 
choice of candidates for training and should take in (i) university 
students who have acquired special training in histrionics (ii) those 
who are already in the acting profession (iii) those who are consider- 
ed to have special aptitude for this line, and (iv) anyone with talent 
who may come to the notice of the staff of the training institution. 
The institution itself may be called the “Institute of Film Art” for 
the time being. We hope that it would develop into an Academy 
at the appropriate stage of its evolution. 

601. Owing to the need for practical training to be imparted in 
acting, it would be necessary for the institution to be located in con- 
junction with some studies. We recommend that the institution 
should be started for the present at Bombay in conjunction with the 
Government of India’s studios and that later similar institutions may 
be started at the other main production centres as soon as arrange- 
ments could be entered into with local studios for the use of technical 

602. We realise that not every student would turn out to be a 
star and that the institution could well congratulate itself if even 
ten per cent, of the people who pass through it are successful. In 
fixing the number of students for training each year, the authorities 


should not therefore be deterred by the fear of large-scale unemploy- 
ment provided that the courses are not too long or expensive to the 
students. Wc feel, however, that an attempt should be made to keep 
out tliose who could never make a success in films. Producers, who 
were asked about the methods used by them for the selection of new 
artistes, told us that they were generally guided by the photographs 
of the candidates but that there were many cases where persons 
whose photographs looked promising did not come out successful in 
the screen We WQ,uld, therefore, suggest that in the selection 
of students for admission to such an institution, some sort of a preli- 
minary screen test should be made with the assistance of trained 
make-up and cameramen ajd that only those candidates who are 
photogenic should be admitted. Every effort should be made to keep 
wastage down to the minimum. 

603. Many of the technicians now employed in the industry appear 
to have had no previous training, They are people who have learnt 
things the hard way, and it is to their lastmg credit that they have 
been able to bring the industry to its present stage when its products 
could compare not unfavourably with those of other and technically 
more advanced nations. This is not, however, to say that the present 
position is satisfactory. While the industry has advanced very, con- 
siderably, it must be recognized that it is the last stage of inter- 
national competition that is the most difficult to cross. It is com- 
paratively easier to turn out a product which is very nearly as good 
as of others, but much more difficult to make one which is quite as 
good or better. If the Indian film industry is to cover the last lap 
in the race within a reasonable time, it is necessary to have the 
services of (rained technicians of the highest calibre. With the 
exception of a handful of outstanding men, fev/ of our technicians 
have had the benefit of basic training except in the industry itself. 
The practice of sending studerits abroad for basic training in 
cinem dajgiapliy wliich had been in force in the immediate post-war 
ye.?.rs need not bo revived. The academic training they received in 
euncational .institutions, mairdy in the United States, could easily be 
provided in this country, and we recommend the starting of an Insti- 
tute of Film Technique for training all categories of technicians 
including directors. 

604. The courses of training for the various classes of technicians 
would obviously have to be of different durations, according to the 
intricacy of the art or science to be studied. We would suggest that 
in the case of cameramen and sound-engineers, if the selection is 
made properly on the lines we have already indicated, a basic train- 
ing of one year at an institution would be sufficient. The course for 
art directors and scenario writers would also be of the same duration. 
In the case of literary workers, it should be poKible to impart a 
knowledge of the fimdamentals within six months, and the same 
period might suffice also for film editors. In the case of directors, 
we feel that the basic course should extend over two years, of which 
the first is spent in acquiring thorough knowledge of ohe or more 
of the technical subjects mentioned above while the second year is 
devoted to specialized study of film direction. These are suggestions 
which the Film Council would have to examine in detail before draw- 
ing up the regulations. 


605. In all these cases, it is essential to provide suitably selected 
candidates with fundamental knowledge about the processes involved 
in the production of a film and then to associate them with the pro- 
duction of films under the guidarxce of experienced people who can 
spare the time necessary for drawing the attention of the student to 
the particular aspects to be stressed. We doubt if it will be possible 
to arrange for this by providing “sandwich courses" where the 
students spend seme time in the lecture room between intervals of 
training in the studios. Most of the producing concerns would be 
unable to accept students for such training, as it w’ould throw out 
of gear their production arrangements and lead to considerable 
increase in costs. Moreover, it seems to us doubtful whether any of 
the studios have^ at their command the services of people who, in 
addition to being capable directors, etc., themselves, can also impart 
to others the knowledge of requisite qualities and can spare the time 
to do so. Further the studios themselves do not possess any library 
of film classics made in India and abroad which should be studied 
by all technicians in order to give them a full understanding of the 
possibilities of the medium. Hence arises the need for a specialised 
institution where, in addition to other facilities, a studio is also 
available for the students to practise on a commercial scale. We 
recommend therefore that the Institr^tc .should be located in Brnnbay 
and that both for purposes of basic training and for field training 
the resources of the Films Division should be made available to the 
students of the Institute. 

The training to be imparted in the institution is intended only to 
provide the students with opportunities .to familiarise themi^elves 
with their work as it is actually done in studios. It should help them 
to acquire sufficient knowledge of !":v.v particular results arc to be 
achieved with the materials that wii! be placed r;t their disposal 
w^he.a they go to work in tlie indu:i{.r,v. It hoveever. give ihem 

an idea of what eih-cts to aim ai or hov; io overcome the numerous 
obstacles that, will face them in commercial v-ork. These can be 
acquired only by field training in the indusiry.. 

606. Pro-Tliiction of short — In field-training, it is necessary 
that aspiring young men should have opportunities to work under 
people wnth originality and imagination, in circumstances where 
these two qualitivcs can be exercised. In the U.S.A. most technicians 
are able to get their field training in the production of sliort films. 
In India the production of short films is carried on at present mainly 
under Government auspices. Their organisation can, therefore, be 
used for providing field training to. technicians who have had basic 
training. There is a move by the Films Division to acquire a number 
of factual shorts from private producers, and in view of the higher 
cost of production which Government has been incurring on produc- 
tion, we anticipate that in future only those subjects which cannot 
be handled adequately with private resources, will be reserved for 
government production while more and more of the others would be 
produced by the industry. The producers of such short films in 
future should also be able to provide the necessary field training for 
technicians. We recommend that where such shorts are commis- 
sioned by Government to be made by a particular private unit, the 
government should insist that apprentices must also be engaged in 


the production. This would be on the lines of the procedure adopted 
for securing facilities for practical training for engineers when 
machinery is being ordered from overseas manufacturers. 

607. Both these institutions should operate under the supervision 
of the Film Council and the expenditure both in respect of training 
equipment and annual recurring costs should be met from a part of 
the funds realised by the levy of a cess on films. 

Supply of raw materials and equipment 

608. Raw film.--We have discussed in Chapter VIII the require- 
ments of the industry in the .matter of raw film and have given our 
reasons for arriving at the annual quota of 240 million feet of black- 
and-white film costing about Rs. II crores. We have also discussed 
the relative advantages of licensing and permitting imports on O.G.L. 
We recommend that unless new and overwhelming factors arise in 
future, the import of this conimodity should be placed on O.G.L., 
and that such O.G.L. should apply not merely to the sterling area 
but also to the dollar area in respect of colour films. In view, how- 
ever, of the tendency of the industry to be wasteful, if not extrava- 
gant, in the consumption of raw film, we recommend that the total 
quantity imported should be carefully watched and that the Film 
Council should adopt measures for licensing or otherwise restricting 
consumption if it tends to rise over the figure of 240 million feet. 

609. In our view, no control over raw film would be effective un- 
less there is control over distribution. Restriction of imports or ceil- 
ings on prices rnerely result in the creation of a blackmarket and in 
view of the small part that the price of raw film forms of the total 
cost of production, producers have shown no .hesitation in paying ex- 
cessive prices for stocks. We have already referred to the unwilling- 
ness of the Associations in the industry to take strong mea.sures to 
control distribution. We hope, however, that in future with better 
regulation of the behaviour of individual members, it would be 
possible for the Associations to enforce effective checks on mal- 
distribution. We would, therefore, suggest that the supply should 
be made on the recommendation of a Committee which the Pro- 
ducers’ Association may appoint in this behalf and that importers 
should continue to furnish to the local Associations full details of 
the quantities supplied to each individual customer and. that this 
information should be available to all concerned members for 
Reference. When the Film Council is established, it should be open 
tb any member of the industry to appeal to them regarding faulty 
distribution or misuse of stocks allotted for specific purposes or un- 
fair or discriminatory treatment. 

610. We have referred to certain possibilities of misuse of raw 
stock in order to force independent producers to patronise certain - 
studios or laboratories. To obviate such things, we recommend to 
the Associations that the allocation of raw stock should' be made in 
the following order of priority: — 

(i) Studios which produce on their own account and in their 

own name. 

(ii) Studios which take up a share in pictures released under 

the producer’s name. 

(iii) Independent producers. 

(ivj Distributors who have secured all rights in a picture. 
-<v) Distributors who handle releases for account of producers, 
(vi) Distributors of foreign pictures. 

(yii) Independent laboratories. 

.(viii) Studios which rcnit facilities without taking any share m 
the production. 

(ix) Retailers of raw stock, dealers in equipment or machinery. 


(x) other categories of customers. 

New customers in any of these lines should be ranked two steps 
below oW -established consumers of the same categories. 

611. We have examined in detail the various problems involved 
in the setting up of a factory in India for the manufacture of raw 
Him. We have come to the conclusion that the diriiculties are not 
insuperable and that attempts should be made to set up at an early 
date OO 0 or more factories for making this product. The Ministry of 
rndustry and Commerce have already approved of one scheme for 
the manufacture of I’aw Him in India. This scheme comprises stages 
1, 2 and 3 and depends upon other manufacturers for the supply of 
the chemicals needed (stage 4). Another scheme is being e.xamined 
in the Ministry of Industry and Corrimerce for the production of 
positive film only on a much smaller scale A detailed examination 
of such schemes and their encouragement wherever justified would 
fall outside the scope of this Committee. In view, howevei*, of the 
high capital investmerit required and the large exeendiUne of 
foreign currency on the requisilo plant nod rnacliinery, we recom- 
mend that every’ scheme should be investigated ve?y carefully botl) 
in respect of the good faith of the promoters and of their technical 

, C12. Studio equipment. — We have reviewed the requirements of 

the industry* in respect of the various categories of equipment and 
have assessed the value of the annual imports recjuii’ed at Rs. 45 
lakhs. We have also indicated the reasons for which we consider 
that the bulk of the material should have to be imporled for some 
time more. We recommend that the imports should be freely per- 
mitted in most cases, and that in the case of certain items which we 
have already mentioned and such other items as are considered by 
the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as suitable for manufacture 
in India, imports should be restricted in order to encourage local 
production. For the manufacture of these items, certain compo- 
nents will have to be imported from abroad and it would be neces- 
sary to give special facilities to intending manufacturers for such 

613. We have referred to the need for the publication of stan- 
dards for equipment, particularly dimensional standards, and we 
would recommend to the Indian Standards Institution the early 
publication of suitable standards. 

614. Controlled materials.— Most of the existing studios and those 
to be newly constructed would require controlled materials such as 
steel, etc. for their structural work. We would recommend that the 
alWeation of such materials should not be ruled out just because 
they are needed for film studios but should be made according to a 
properly established system of priorities. 

7 M of IB.— 15. 


615. Chemicals. — We have estimated in the body of the report 
the annual requirements of photographic chemicals for the film in- 
dustry. We have not been able to get authentic statistics of the 
actual output of factories in India, but it would appear that except 
in some cases the local output has not been adequate for the de- 
mands of the industry. We recommend, therefore, that the output 
should be stepped up wherever necessary. We have referred in 
detail to the special need for establi.shing standards for the purity 
and content of the chemicals manufactured in this country. We 
would recommend that in addition to the adoption of certain stan- 
dards, it should be made compulsory for all goods to carry a declara- 
tion whether it is of the requisite standard. It will also be neces- 
sary for the Indian Standards Institution or other authority to make 
periodical checks of the quality of the goods branded as up to stan- 
dard and for Government to ensure that any infringement of pre-s- 
cribed standards is rigorously dealt with. 

616. Theatre projection equipment. — We have reviewed the 
requirements of the exhibition section of the industry and have 
placed their annual requirements at Rs. 110 lakhs of which Rs. 20 
lakhs would be for spare parts for maintenance of equipment already 
installed, while the balance would be for new installations and for 
the replacement of obsolete installations. We have also, allocated 
these amounts between dollar and non-doliar areas on the basis of 
present market demands. We would recommend that until large- 
scale manufacture has been set up in this country, imports on this 
basis should be allowed for normal replacement and expansion. Re- 
garding manufacture, we have divided the processes into three 
stages and have indicated a three-year plan by which all the require- 
ments could be produced in this country. We recommend that it 
.should be taken up by the Ministry concerned and early steps taken 
to encourage manufacture in ‘this country, the stages to include a 
progressive reduction in the imports of such items as can be made 
locally during each stage of development. 

617. Arc lamp carbons. — We recommend that imports of arc 
lamp carbons from soft currency areas should be freely licensed 
and, if possible, placed on O.G.L. while imports from dollar areas 
may be restricted to 100% of the best year in the past. It is, essential 
however that the scheme for manufacture of carbons in India should 
be pushed through as quickly as possible. 

618. Technological research.— During the course of our enquiry, 
a number of technological problems came to our notice, which 
require to be solved before the film industry and ancillary industries 
in this country can develop properly. We enumerate below the most 
important of these. . 

619. Testing of nitrate film for deterioration. — It is known 
that cinematograph film manufactured from cellulose nitrate deterio- 
rates in storage and at a certain stage will catch fire spontaneously. 
The. extent to which deterioration may be permitted before making 
it compulsory for the owner to destroy the film would depend upon 
the highest ambient temperature that is likely to be reached imder 
normal storage conditions. A certain amount of research has been 
carried out by the National Bureau of Standards in the United States 
with the co-operation of the National Archives and Record Services, 
Washington. These tests have not yet been completed but the results 


so far obtained indicate that self-ignition temperature varied, with 
a number of factors and could happen at 105°F and perhaps even 
lower, but that no film in good condition would ignite at such tem- 
peratures. It is necessary to ascertain th^ highest storage tempera- 
tures likely to prevail in the i .ain storage areas of the country and 
the extent to which deterior:;tion may be permitted to go on in the 
film without incurring the risk of self-ignition. Films of varying 
ages can be obtained v. ith the co-operation of the industry but the 
tests themselves will have to be carried out at a well-equipped 

620. Manufacture of photographic gelatine.— This is a highly 
specialised process being carried on at present in only a few factories 
in the world. Only certain sources of gelatine appear to yeild a 
satisfactory product and the manufacture itself involves a number 
of operations. Experiments on a pilot plant scale in the manufacture 
of photographic gelatine from Indian sources of raw materials will 
have to be carried out at some laboratory. While a great deal has 
been discovered about the physical qualities and chemical compo- 
sition of gelatine that would yield satisfactory results in the manu- 
facture of photographic emulsions, the most reliable test still is to 
make a small quantity of emulsion with specimens of the gelatine. 
It is, therefore, necessary that the laboratory which undertakes the 
investigation should be equipped to make photographic emulsions 
also out of the gelatine produced locally and to work out a suitable 
sequence of manufacturing processes. 

621. Emulsion technology. — ^This is not fully covered in 
published literature, and a series of experiments will have to be 
conducted, preferably with gelatine of local manufacture, for finding 
out processes which will produce emulsions of desired speed, re- 
solving-power, grain-size, colour sensitivity and freedom from fog. 

622. Sensitizing chemicals. — ^Experiments with sensitizers 
already available in the market and with other products of similar 
structure will have to be carried on in conjunction with experiments 
in emulsion technology. The local production of the necessary 
quantities of these sensitizers will also have to be investigated. 

623. Gelatine snbstitudes. — While so far the most satlsfactorj' 
photographic emulsions have been made with the use of gelatine as 
the carrier for the silver salt, experiments, with the use of plastic 
polymers are reported to have yielded promising results and it is 
understood that one manufacturer is using plastic polymers ex- 
clusively as carriers in the three layers of his monopack three- 
colour films. The use of such polymers, even though they are slightly 
more expensive in the first instance, might enable the production of 
photographic emulsions of uniform and controllable quality, obviat- 
ing some of the difficulties encountered when gelatine is used, and 
of higher speed than can be obtained by using collodion. (Even the 
largest manufacturers of photographic goods are occasionally con- 
fronted with instances where certain batches of emulsion show 
characteristics different from those planned.) 

624. Plasticizers for acetate films.— Cellulose acetate film to 
be used as a film base has to possess certain physical properties such 
as transparency, hardness, toughness, high tearing strength, dimen- 
sional stability with variations in water content and temperature. 


The use of dili'erent plasticizers for producing the desired results and 
the influence of different solvents, and other factors in the casting 
process • will need to be investigated. This requires the 
availability of a small casting machine in the laboratory where 
the experiments are to be carried on, as well as equipment for test- 
ing the film produced. 

625. Manufacture film. — All tiie colour film now 

produced de^,?n4ftjoU)theijij^' of dye-coupling compounds in the 
emulsions, and etJlVihJiCPhJl^rsion into coloured substances during 
development. Manufacturers in the West have brought out a number 
of. new emulsions, and there has been growing interest in the Indian 
;hlgnitet‘- in the' colour. The difficulties so far 
• ‘encountered aVe''ii'h‘t;p4fhS^f6h'with the production, by coupling, of 
three primary coltfiff^ 'which would provide spectral balance and 
would be fast to light and heat. The problems of producing emul- 
sions with the required gamma for po.sitive and negative, and of - 
balanced .sensitivity when exposed through filtering layers have 
not yet been satisfactorily solved. It may be expected that when 
those ■ troubles have been overcome, colour film will replace to a 
considerable extent the black-and-white film now in use. It seems 
essential, therefore, to initiate a series of experiments in India on 
this subject. Experimental work on these lines may also lead to 
useful developments on the lines of cheap dyc-coup’cd pr.inting developed in Germany before the war for the production of 
substandard films for school and home use, or the high-resolution 
process recently announced in Holland. 

026. Light sources. — At present the main sources of illuniina- 
tion both for the photographing of films in the studio and for their 
exhibition in the cinemas are (i) incandescent lamps and (ii) arc 
lamps.' The former arc relatively inefficient, produce a considerable 
amount of heat and have a very .short life. Experinienhs with com- 
pact-soLirce lanijis using metallic vapours at high pre3sure.s have 
shown that it'is possible to produce light much more efficiently, but 
the difficulties have been the higher costs of the lamps themselves, 
the spectral composition of the' light they emit, and the flicker 
effects produced w'ben these lamps are fed from a source of alter- 
nating current. Even a partial solution of some of these problems 
would be a great help to the industry. In the case of arc lamps, the 
present trend is towards high-intensity lamps, where the carbon 
cleqtrodes have cores filled with rare earth compounds which in- 
crease the amount of light produced. Experiments with suitable raw 
materials available in India w'ould lead to the establishment of a 
factory for the manufacture of such carbons in this counti'y. 

627. Production .of stereoscopic images on the sciwn. — The 
earlier attempts to produce binocular vision of left-and-right eye 
images projected on the screen depended on the use . of glasses by 
the viewer, the left and the right ones being tinted with complemen- 
tary colours, •wffiile the corresponding images were also coloured. 
Later experiments involving .the use of polarised light have also 
shown promising results witHput any of the difficulties associated 
with the use of coloured images. Still, they too require the use of 
special glasses for each of the viewers. Experimerits are reported to 
have been successful in France, the U.S.A. and Soviet Russia, based 
in each case on the use of a screen with a special surface, though 
according to published reports, movements of *he ’newer in his seat 

are likely to Ihiow out of coincidence the left and right images. Ex- 
periments directed towards the solution of this problem should be 
undertaken in India also. 

G28. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Ileseaich has now 
laid down that major problems involving regular investigations are 
to be examined according to a scheme drawn up by the director of 
the laboratory concerned in consultation with the Dh'ector of Scien- 
tific and Industrial Research, and suitable provision made therein 
for sharing any utility arising out of patent rights, etc., which may 
be taken up seriously on these investigations. This is, no doubt, 
quite a legitimate provision. 'Ihe Council have. hov;ever, decided 
that the exDenscs of such investigation will have to be borne by the 
industry. We recommend that out of the cess collected from the 
industry, the Film Council should set apart the funds necessary for 
the conduct of 'research into the problems mentioned above and 
any othei’S tliat: .might acquire importance. The C.S.I.R. may be 
reauested to allocate the funds to the various National Laboratories 
in Vl)e country where each particular problem can be gone into most 
satisfactorily and to publish the results of the reseai’ch after taking 
out patents wherever necessary. Patent rights in any of the inslT’u- 
mcnls or processes devised can be subsequently ‘iransferred to the 
inaustry against payment of royalty charges which will re-imburse 
the Research Fund for the expenses’' of this investigation. 

(i2fi. Certification of films.- -The new arrangements for certifica- 
tion of films for exhibition have been in force for too short a time for 
us to comment on their working. .We would draw attention, how- 
ever. to certain general principles that we have enunciated earlier 
in the report on this ouesiion. 'We would lay particular sirx^ss on the 
principles used for discriminating between films for gene.ral ex- 
hibition and those for adults only. la our view, the emphasis should 
be as much on the examination of the themes pr'escnied as on the 
actual manner of their presentation. A clear directive to the .Boards 
of Censors on this point would appear to be called for. 

flSO. On the question of who should be permitted to see films 
classified as we feel that there is much to commend in the 
British practice of permitting children to sec ''A’' pictures provided 
thev are accompanied by a parent or guardian. This \vould allow for 
the normal practice of the family as a group attending cnleriain- 
menls. and the indication that a ’picture is considered suitable for 
adults only would be sufheient warning to the parents and guardians 
regarding the nature of the film. This recommendation of ours, if 
accented", should be taken into account when drafting the directive 
to* Boards of Censors regarding the basis for distinguishing between 
“A*’ and '‘U” pictures. 

631. In addition to the rationalisation of the distinction between 
“A" and “U’’ pictures that we have suggested above, we feel that the 
enforcement of the rules also require change. At present, it is the 
sole responsibility of the exhibitor to make sure that no persons 
below the prescribed age are permitted into the auditorium when an 
**A"’ picture is being shown. We are convinced that the difficulties 
in the way of such enforcement by exhibitors are very real. This, we 
feel, is a matter in which the primary responsibility should rest with 
the State authorities responsible for the enforcement of all the 
other regulations governing the cinema, including, in particular, 
the police. 


632. We have referred to past lapses in the functioning of censor- 
ship, and having in mind the human factor to which we have made 
special reference, we would not rule out the possibility of such 
lapses occurring in future. We therefore recommend that all certi- 
ticates granted to films should automatically lapse at the end of 
five years and that the films should be again seen by the Boards 
before the certificates are renewed. We feel that thereby any changes 
in the cinema habits and tastes of the cinema-goers, current judg- 
meKts and any evidence of the actual effect on the audience as 
ascertained by research should be effectively reflected in the grant- 
ing of fresh certificates. In view of our recommendation that fees 
for certification should be nominal, this should not involve any 
hardship on the producers. On the other hand, we expect that the 
crystallisation of public opinion, the growing experience of the 
Boards and above all, intensive study of the effects of films on the 
minds of the cinema-goers would all contribute towards a more 
rational application of the principles of censorship. 

633. Short films. — ^We feel that the exhibition of “approved” 
films of an informative or instructive nature as an essential part of 
each programme has proved quite useful and should be continued. 
In our opinion, the clamour and protests against the present measure 
are due only to the reaction against the element of compulsion in 
it. aggravated possibly by the poor quality of some of the produc- 
tions. Their standard' however, is now rising and from the evidence 
placed before us. we feel that there is growing appreciation among 
the public also of the utility of these films. In Chapter III paras 21 
and 22, we have raised some points regarding the legal authority be- 
hind the compulsion. We recommend that this position should be 
examined and clarified, by fresh legislation if necessary, so that the 
Union Government has well-defined powers not merely for the sanc- 
tioning of films for exhibition but for compelling the exhibition of 
films. In order to reassure the exhibitors on the possible implica- 
tions of such a measure, it may be specifically stated that such com- 
pulsion shall not extend to over 107 « of the total screen-time for each 
show. The “approval” of films, whether made by Government or 
by the private producers, qualifying them for being counted towards 
the minimum footage to be shown, should be accorded by the 
Production Code Administration and not by a separate advisory board, 

634. There do not appear to be good prospects of the industry 
producing and exhibiting these films voluntarily and therefdre in 
addition to the compulsion in the matter of exhibition the produc- 
tion of such films directly by the State or under its sponsorship 
would have also to continue for some time. Nevertheless, we would 
recommend that in consultation with the Film Council or its appro- 
priate Panel the Government should issue from time to time a list 
of subjects on which it would like private enterprise to produce edu- 
cational or documentary films. It should be open to the producer 
of feature films to produce his own documentary from out of these 
subjects and to get his “short” approved by the Production Code 
Administration. We hope that mutual competition between the 
State productions, including the few private productions under- 
written by the State, and private productions from feature film pro* 
duc'ers who also embark on short film production would help to 
improve the standard of these films and in course of < 'me would 
considerably reduce the need of government productions. 


635. At present a weekly rental is charged for these “approved” 
films distributed by the Films Division, and under an arrangement 
between exhibitors and distributors, this rental is deducted from the 
gross revenue before arriving at their respective shares. This, we 
feel, is an equitable arrangement because in the result the exhibitor 
pays about half of it, as he should for the additional entertainment 
provided to his audience, while the distributor, and through him the 
producer, bears the other half as an assistance to the production of 
short films vrhich, as we have pointed out earlier, serves also as a 
training ground for technicians. The industry will not however be 
able to derive the full benefit of the assistance unless the bulk of the 
“shorts” are produced by private enterprise. We recommend there- 
fore that in addition to providing facilities for the training of techni- 
cians (including directors) the State organisation should entrust a 
growing number of their own productions to the -supervision of 
private producers under a contract. However imaginative the team of 
producers in the regular service of Government, they would not be 
able to maintain a high standard week after week or even fortnight 
after fortnight. The aim of the State organisation should be to 
choose the themes and to decide on their manner of presentation, as 
well as to maintain the technical facilities needed for production. 
Once the bare outline of a theme is decided upon, the actual work of 
production should be entrusted to a private producer, to whom speci- 
fied technical facilities would be allotted and their cost deducted 
from the sum contracted for. The engagement of literary and artis- 
tic talent. including scenario-writers, actors. commentaiy- 
writers, commentators etc. should be the responsibility of the pro- 
ducers. Such an arrangement will, we hope, break up also the same- 
ness of State productions and thus make the “shorts” more popular 
than at present. It would also in our view bring down costs and make 
the whole scheme self-supporting instead of being a burden on the 

636. The foregoing recommendations refer to- the production of 
“documentaries”, a term which at present is being applied to all 
sorts of short films, ranging from films publicising certain activities 
of Government to travelogues shot without any scheme or purpose. 
Whatever may have been the aim of the producers in each case, the 
result has rarely been a “documentary” in the real sense of the 
word. The authenticity that should be the basic feature of any docu- 
mentary film is often lacking and we are treated to the sight of 
professional actors and actresses in elaborate make-up going through 
stagey motions in front of the camera of which they seem to be cons- 
cious all the time. This should be remedied not merely for aesthe-tic 
reasons but also because it detracts from the effect of the production 
on the audience. 

637. It would appear from the experience of the concern that took 
over the former Indian News Parade that theatres would not exhibit 
or pay for the newsreel unless they were compelled to do so. The 
present practice of including newsreels with “documentaries” in the 
category of “approved films” may therefore be continued. At present 
the same number of copies are printed of newsreels as of documen- 
taries and both are circulated for the same period. Owing to the 
small number Of copies printed as compared to the number of 
theatres, ^ copies in each case remain in circulation for some 


months. This may not be objectionable in the case of the “documen- 
taries” but it seems ridiculous to force the theatres to show 
ne\ysreels six months old and to pay for them. The remedy would be 
to increase the number of copies printed of the newsreels, or to ex- 
clude from the circulation list the theatres in the more remote areas, 
or do both, and ensure that no newsreel is shown to the public more 
than six weeks after its release. The production of newsreels would 
have to remain in the hands of the State for the present, but we 
would recommend exploration of the possibilities of engaging also 
free-lance cameramen on the basis of payment according to footage 
used. Such free-lance contributors may lack the facilities available 
to Government cameramen, but they might have a fresh angle to 
news-collection, perhaps more interesting than the official. In order 
to ensure that there is no evasion of the rules regarding compulsory 
exhibition, the distribution of approved films may have to con- 
tinue through the agency of the Films Division, "in the case of 
private productions, we would therefore recommend that the nega- 
tives should be handed over to the Films Division for making copies 
for distribution. The exhibitors should have the choice of taking 
eitlier a documentary produced or sponsored bv the Films Division 
or one of the private productions. The rental, however, would be 
the same, the only difference being that in the case of the last, the 
realisations would, after deduction of a percentage to cover distribu- 
tion costs, be credited to the producer. After rationalisation of the 
distribution of newsreels as recommended above, wre expect that a 
lara:cr proportion of documentaries would be needed than at present 
and that this w^ould accommodate the private productions. The choice 
which we have suggested above would, of course, apply only in the 
cases v;here a documentary is to be supplied to the exhibitor and 
not to the cases where he is due to receive a newsreel for exhibition. 

G3B. Educational use of films. — The greatest difficulty in the way 
of expansion has been the high cost of projectors. We have already 
mentioned the suggestion that the cost could be brought down if such 
projectors are exempted from customs duty. Unfortunately, such 
exemption of duty does not appear to be administratively possible. 
Projectors of the type used in schools are also used in fairly large 
numbers for personal amusement or entertainment at home. There 
can be no justification for waivin.g the duty on projectors imported 
for such purposes. It is not possible at the time of import to ascer- 
tain whether the projector is ultimately going to be used for domes- 
tic entertainment or for instruction in a school, nor does it seem 
possible to keep track of the history of the projector and to grant a 
refund of the duty when it reaches a school. We are therefore un- 
able to recommend any rebate of customs duty on projectors supplied 
to schools. The best way to meet the difficulty would be by sanc- 
tioning special grants to schools for the purpose of , purchasing such 

639. Another difficulty is the shortage of films suitable for exhibi- 
tion in Indian schools. We have reviewed earlier the special require- 
ments to be met by such films, and we recommend that in addition 
to such films as may be commissioned from private producers, the 
Films Division of the Government of India should undertake the 
production of suitable films with the aid of special grants from the 
Ministry of Education. 

640. Until a large number of schools have installed projectors, it 
would be necessary for the State Governments to purchase equip- 
ment themselves and lend them out to the schools for day to day 
use. At present there are private firms which provide projectors and 
films for rental but it has been the complaint of the educational 
authorities that their charges are very high. If the Departments of 
Education in the States have projectors for rc >ting out, , the cost 
would naturally be brought down. Libraries o!' lilms will also have 
to be established at a large number of centres from which schools 
can borrow films as necessary. Periodical lists should be issued to 
all educational institutions describing the acquisitions to th^ibrary, 
giving full particulars of each film, and also the suggestions of the 
educational authorities regarding the age groups for whom the films 
are considered suitable. In addition, it would be useful if to each 
library there is attached a projection room where educationists can 
have films projected and decide on their suitability before borrowing 
them for their schools. The distribution of schools varies in different 
States and it is therefore difficult, for us to suggest any uniform basis 
for determining the number of libraries to be opened in each. We 
would recommend, however, that the number of schools dependent 
on a library should not exceed 50. We have already commented on 
the practice in certain Stales of the schools levying a small fee 
from the pupils to cover the costs of education through films. We 
would suggest that this practice. wTiich would enable a large number 
of scliools to go in for projectors of their own as well as to obtain a 
variety of films for their pupils, should be extended to all the 

641. We have noticed that in certain States the operation and 
maintenance of Government-owned projectors is combined with the 
work of adult education department which uses the same projectors 
for exhibition in rural areas of films considered suitable for adult 
education. Such a practice has certain features to commend it. The 
cost of administration can be brought down, and since the vans used 
for rural areas are invariably equipped with generators for providing 
electricity, the mobile film unit wmuld be able to serve also schools 
w^here electric supply is not available, and where in consequence it 
would not be worth while for schools to go in for projectors of their 
own. Even in electrified areas we do not expect that it will be 
possible for all schools to purchase projectors immediately, and the 
services of a mobile van complete with film library and trained 
operator would be more useful than mere opening of a district centre 
from which the school would borrow both projector and films. We 
therefore recommend that in all States visual education, whether in 
the class room or in the rural areas, should be developed hand in 

642. In the field of adult education through the film,' we feel that 
the ground covered by the use of mobile vans cannot be extensive 
and we therefore recommend the establishment of open air theatres 
in rural areas. These should be put up by local authorities to suit 
the climatic conditions of the place and should be made available 
for free cinema shows where instructional and informative short 
films are screened for the benefit of the public. The same theatres 
could be used for the encouragement of local talents in music, dancing 
or acting* 


643. Critical appreciation of films. — Under the functions of the 
Film Council, we have referred briefly to the need for encouraging 
film societies and clubs all over the country. We feel that it is very 
nece.ssarv to cultivate in the public a sense of critical appreciation 
of films and that this can best be induced and fostered by the hab»* 
of seeing pictures generally acclaimed as good and then having their 
features analysed and discussed both by experts in the line as well as 
by lay critics. We noted with pleasure the spontaneous develop- 
ment of this movement at one or two centres that we visited and we 
feel that there is much more to be done. In view of the handicaps 
under which these societies are functioning such as the difficulty of 
finding Uieatres or the impo.ssibility of securing copies either in 
16 mm. or 35 mm. of famous classics made in this country or abroad, 
we feel that positive assistance from the Film Council is very 
necessary. Further encouragement of these societies can be afford- 
ed by the Council by accepting for publication in its journal criticisms 
from the societies which they consider both educative and helpful. 

644. In this connection, we would invite reference to paragraphs 
p and 11 of Chapter III wherein we have referred to the loose word- 
ing in the Indian Cinematograph Act in defining both ‘cinemato- 
graph’ and ‘exhibition’. We would suggest that the Act should be 
suitably amended in order to regulate all public exhibition of films 
and to exclude private shov/s. 'The Act should also be made appli- 
cable to all the States in the Union. 

645. During our discussions with educationists we found growing 
appreciation of the need for inculcating in children a sense of values 
in the films. The methods suggested cover both the showing of 
entertainment films in the schools under the supervision of teachers 
as well as the conducting of parties of children to theatres where 
they see pictures and then are asked to participate in discussions on 
what they had seen, under the guidance of a suitably trained teacher. 
We feel that both these methods are useful, though with the present 
lack of 16 mm. copies of current feature films, the first cannot be 
utilised as generally as the second. We would recommend that all 
people in charge of the education of children should pay more at- 
tention to the development of the critical habit among children not 
merely in respect of books, drama or music as at present but also in 
the case of films. 

646. Among the bulk of the film-goers a keener sense of values in 
the film can be. cultivated only by regular publication of well- 
informed criticism about productions currently being screened. We 
have referred earlier to the unsatisfactory nature of the bulk of 
film criticism, being published today. A critic should possess, in 
addition to a due appreciation of the medium and its importance and 
a genuine interest in the film, an above-average cultural and in- 
tellectual equipment as well as capacity fw comparative appraisal 
of films arising from wide experience in seeing films of all kinds. He 
must beware of purely personal reactions as well as the tendency 
to be intolerant of those holding different opinions. We have recom- 
mended that the Film Council should bring out a journal containing 
sound criticisms of current productions, and we would further recom- 
mend that in their selection of reviewers they should pay special at- 


tention to the essentials that we have mentioned above and by grant- 
ing awards to the best piece of criticism or to the best work on film 
craft, they should encourage qualified critics. 

647. Many of the major recommendations among the fore-going 
would require changes in the Constitution, legislative measures or 
administrative action. Certain delays are inevitable in the case of 
the first two. We would therefore recommend that priority should 
be given to those recommendations which can be implemented 
directly by administrative action, while at the same time expediti- 
ous action is taken to secure necessary constitutional and statutory 
modifications. If, as we understand, amendments to the Constitu- 
tion are being examined by a special Committee, the amendments 
required in order to implement our recommendations should also be 
considered at the same time. Similarly, if amendment of the Indian 
Cinematograph Act is under contemplation, the changes therein 
which we have recommended should also be taken up immediately. 

648. We consider the centralisation of control over the produc- 
tion of industry very essential and would suggest that necessary 
action should be taken immediately, if possible, during the current 
session of Parliament. Action for the setting up of a Production 
Code Administration can be initiated immediately and until the 
enactment of legislation giving the Production Code Adminis- 
tration statutory powers over film production, the possibility of 
the Censor Boards insisting on films securing initial 
approval of the Production Code Administration should be utilised 
fully. Simultaneously, measures for securing uniformity in cinema 
regulations and in the tariffs for Entertainment tax could be adopted 
after necessary consultations with the concerned Ministers of the 
States in a conference to be arranged at an early date. The em- 
phasis should be on immediately implementing those recommen- 
dations which depend mainly upon voluntary or executive action and 
do not require statutory compulsion, while at the same time every 
effort is made to secure the requisite Constitutional and statutory 
powers, as for instance, for setting up a Film Council or a Film 
Finance Corporation. What we have said above is purely illus- 
trative to indicate the lines on which our recommendations could 
be expedited and it would be for the Administration to work out 
the procedure after classifying the measures to be taken under 
various categories. We would emphasise that in this as in most 
other matters of reform in this country time isjof the essence and, 
with the experience of the last Committee before us, we are 
naturally apprehensive lest similar delay should again result. Our 
study of the conditions in the industry convinces us that while the 
industi 7 could somehow muddle through in spite of that delay, now 
there is no time to be lost and the ptogress of the industry downhill 
must be checked as quickly., as possible for the benefit of all the 
interests concerned. 

649. We have now reached our journey’s end. As we progressed 
from stage to stage of our inquiry, we used to look both before and 
after. The end of our labour now gives us an opportunity of a re- 
trospect without having to focus our attention directly on the 
morrow, "rhat . retrospect has a purpose and a perspective: the 
purpose is the service of the commimity through this important in- 


dustry and the perspective is that of participation in a great effort 
to put the industry on the road to progress and prosperity. While 
taking leave of an absorbing and exacting task and a strenuous and 
onerous duty, we sliall only express the hope that that high purpose 
will be found to be running through the preceding pages and that the 
faith in that perspective will be found to have guided us through- 
out. It IS in this faith and hope that we append our signatures to 
this report. ^ 

Form 8.1 


(Ministry of Information & BROADCASTiNCi) 

Government of India 

pTOviiiicial/Stalc Taxation and the Film Indw^dry 

I. Statistics of Entertainment tax revenue. — Figures are reauired covering 
fcvenue colleirted ia the Province, or State, during each of llie last twenty years 
or (‘Oinrnencing from the date of introduction of such tax. Tne form in whicii 
ail tiie figures may kindly be compiled for reference is given below. If the 
particulars required in (column 5 of tlie form are not readily available, the 
rest of the figures may be sent in first and these figures sent separately, 
(01 the last four years in the first instance, and as soon as possible for earlier 
years. The return for the- iirsl half of the current hnanciid .year may similarly 
bo sent as soon as the figures are available. 

II. Stallsliics of Entertainment tax disbursement. — Full details are required 

covering each of the last 20 years of the period since tiio iiuroduction of the 
lax, including particuiurs of any contributions for the V>cne.!it of the industry 
from tiiis source of revc'niK:, stating whether they are definite charges on 
such revenue and if they are varied or fixed. The form on page 20 indicated 
the classification of such charges. It complete statistics ai'e not readily avail- 
able, figure.s for the laj.t tour complete financial years irifiy Vie senl in the 
first instaiice and complete returns inter. Figures for the first .six moutVis 
of the current tinancial year ina.y be sent a.s soon a.s they are available. 

III. Details of such taxes, duties or cesses which are specificaily ieviabie 

on the production. distril)uiiou or exhibition of films in the province, c.g. 
S’alos Tax, Processing tax. etc. Information is required whether sucii taxes 
are levied on more than one occasion on the same item (Sales Tax on raw 
film as well as on the same film when exposed) or more than once in respect 
of the same act of transaction (c.g. a lax on (Mnema for each show as well 

as a U;.M on tickets for admission to that show). 

Entertainment Tax Revenue 


2 j 



4 1 




Details of 
Tariff (flat 
rate or slid- 
ing scale). 

Total revenue 
from all sour- 

Total revotiuo 
from Cinema 

1 Revenue from Cinema 
' shows clarsitied accord* 
ing to valiio of tickets 
(inclusive of tax). 

Below I 
012-0 1 















Entertainment Tax Disbursements 











Prizes and 


Grant to imi- 

Gra its of 


to uultui'ul 

Hward.-s to 

for ro^^eHrcil 

nicipal or otiier 



j jtssottij.ilioii'i 


or scholar- 

loPid bodio. 

or other 

ted to 

1 eoru^OL'tod 


ships eo.L- 


local bo- 


witJi tljo 

uvi-iato.-* etc., 

jioolod with 

for any of 1 lie 

dies not 

Pro vine i- 

out ortain- 


the eotor- 

above pur- 


al State 


iiiont iii- 

i (lustry 



with the 
me.Lt in- 
do -try 




po os or spe- 
cial sorviijes 
for plaees of 
oiitertuin- i 

mo. it (fire- 
brigade ; car 
jmr.vs etc. ) 

[ ly ear- 











Film Censorship 


1. The orders of the Provincial Government constituting a Board of 
Censors, and tiie rules laid down for nomination or selection of Chairman, 
members and secretary. 

2. Directives issued by the Government to the Board prescribing procedure 
and outlining principles to be followed in the exercise of censorship. Codes 
of censorship drawn up by the Boards. 

3. The names of the present Chairman, members and secretary of the 
Board, their professions or occupations, and the particular provisions in the 
rules by which they qualified for the position. 

4. The stall maintained by the Board and their pay and allowances. (Any 
special increase or reduction in the post-war years should be noted.) 

5. Budget statistics covering the working of the Board since 1U28 or the 
date if later when it was constituted, with full particulars as indicated on 
page 231. 

6. Statistics of films censored by the Board since 1928 or the date, if later, 
when it was constituted, with full particulars as indicated on page 231. 

7. Statistics of films which were required to be modified before certification, 
or which were refused certificates, with full particulars as indicated on page 

8. Statistics^ of imported films which were certified as educational and on 
which refund of customs duties were sanctioned. 

(Note. — Information on the following points must cover each of the last 
four years.) 

9. The number of meetings of the Board held during each year. 


10. Number and total footage of films examined each year. 

(A) by employees of the Board, - 

(B) by Members of the Board, singly or in sub-committee, and 

(C) by the fuU Board. 

11. (A) Details of procedure followed for censorship, and of procedure 
for ensuring adherence to the approved version of the film. 

(B) Numi^er of complaints received and investigated regarding evasion 
of censorship by substitution or re-insertion of unapproved footage, and 
results of investigation. 

12. Number of films which had been (i) certified by the Provincial Board, 
or (ii) certified by Boards in other Provinces, which were subsequently re- 
examined by the Board and subsequently cut or modified before they were 
permitted to be released, whether the re-examination was initiated by a 
member of the Board, or followed protests from the press or public, or was 
undertaken at the instance of the Provincial Government. 

12. Number of certificates which had been (i) issued by the Provincial 
Board, (ii) issued by other Boards, which were subsequently suspended, in 
each year, and the number of such cases wiiere the films were subsequently 
declared uncertified. 


Receipts evd Expenditure oj Board of Film Censors 


Expen- 1 

Fee -5 and 
cos to 


Pay and 
ce < of 







from fee.s 
for censor- 

from Pro- 













Statistics of FUms Censored by Board 



of film 

f ied by 

try of 

of titles 
or dialo- 

of subject. 
Newsnoel or 
and Educa- 




(In case of 

1 pictures claa- 
sifiei as Ed- 
state whether 
refund of cus- 
tom duty was 


Sratistics of Films cut or rejected by Bonn! 


YoHf i Name of 





Roaaon for 

Wa-j; thoro an 

i \Va') ‘ the 

! Film 


i 1 





out, or for 
total rojoo- 
tioa if cor- 
1 tifioato 
wa-; rofu •Ofl 

appoal agai.i. t 
tlio dooisio.i 
of tho Bterd 



uphold or 

1 ovor-raled 
by the 

Govern - 


1 i 




Form S.3. 


(IVliNrsTRY OF Information & Broadcasting) 


Film Production and Distribution 

I. NaiRcs of Film Producers in the Province/ Slate and particulars ot tljcir 
output etc. as iiidicated on page 234 

II. Namc.s of Film Distributors in the provijice and particulars about them 
as indicated on page 234. 

III. Names of film studios and laboratories who do not produce pictures 
on their accouni:, but provide facilitie.s for producers, particulars about thorn 
as indicated on 235. 

IV. Names of associations, chamber.s. or other trade organisations with a 
membership drawn from (a) film producers; (b) him distributors; (c) studio 
and laboratory owners, 

V. Names and particulars of registered trade-union or associations mvith 
incimbership of — 

(a) Actors and actresses 

(b) Film Technicians ' ' 

(c) Writers 

(d) Musicians 

(e) Directors etc. 

Particulars need be given only of associations consi.sting exclusively of one 
or more of these categories of film employees, 

VI. Number of industrial disputes which led to strikes or lock-outs, number 
of days for which the strike or lock-out continued in each case, and the 
method by which it was resolved. 

VII. Names of (a) production firms, (b) studios, (c) film laboratories, 
which have applied for and which have been granted State aid, (i) in the 
form of Government participation in stock, (ii) in the form of loans; method 
adopted for safeguarding the interests of the Government, 


Vin. Number of factories engaged in the production of auxiliaries and 
spare paits for studios uad pAujecUou egLuipineiit, and total personnel 


IX. Names of institutions, if any, where training is given in acting, elocu- 
llon, scenario writing, music composing etc. number of studenls trained In 

each year. 

X. Names of institutions, if any, where training is given in Cine-Camers 
work, and stage lighting, sound-recording, film-processing etc. and number 
of students trained in each year. 

XI. Number of research establishments established by Government, the 
Industry, or private enterprise wherein technical and scientific problems cod- 
aected with the industry are investigated; number of engineers and scientists 
engaged on such remffttKSk and list of problems being investigated. 

!^I. Names oJ^tedM&iens deputed for study overseas in each of the last 
four years (a) hjf^^e Provincial Government, (b) by the industry through 
their representative associations, and (c) by individual members of the 

FUm Producer « 

•PJ 031 J ii pOlIJ^g 
















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0 > 

(Ministry op Information & Broadcasting) 

(Government op India) 

Cinema Theatres and Travelling Cinemas 

I. Location and other particulars of theatres licensed under the Indian 
Cinematograph Act for exhibition of films, classified as in the form on page 
^36. according to the town in which they are situated. 

II. Number and other details of travelling cinemas (form attached). 

III. Number of clubs, private associations, state or private institutiona* 
regimental messes, industrial canteens etc., with provision for exhibiting. 

(A) Theatre-type (inflammable) film, and 

(B) Sub-standard (non-inflammable) film. 

IV. Provincial and Municipal regulations to be complied with in the caig 
ot categories I. II, III (A) and III(B) above. 

V. Staff maintained and arrangements made for — 

(A) Preliminary inspection of the theatres before licensing. 

(B) Periodic inspection of theatres and of travelling cinemas. 
Expenditure incurred on this account in each of the last four years. 

VI. Revenue from inspection charges and licence fees in each of the leal 

tour years. 

VIL Number of cases in each of the last four years when action had to bt 
taken against theatre-owners for non-compliance with regulations. 

VIII. Number of fire accidents in cinemas during each of the last four 
years and steps taken in consequence of investigation regarding the cause of 
the fire. 

IX. Names of picture circuits and number of theatres forming each circuit 

X. Names of Associations of Exhibitors, Theatre-owners, etc. 

XI. Names of Trade Unions or Associations of employees of different cato* 

gories such as operators, electricians, etc. z 

XII. Labour codes governing various categories of employees In cinema- 

XIII. Number of institutions for training operators or other technical 
personnel and number of persons trained in each of the last five years. 

Xrv. Qualifications prescribed for operators, electricians, etc. In licenaed 
theatres; arrangements for examining and licensing. 

XV. Number of strikes, in each of the last three years among employees to 
cinema-theatres, and number of cases where settlement was effected by arbik 
traiors or tribunals appointed by Government. 



(Ministry op Information & Broadcasting) 

(Government op India) 

Questionnaire on the Film Industry 

The Film Enquiry Committee request that any information that you can 
turnish on the points raised in the questionnaire may kindly be sent to them 
at an early date and in any case so as to reach the Secretary before Slst 
December 1949. Use of the envelope attached will ensure prompt receipt of 
your reply. 

The questionnaire has been drawn up in two parts, “The Film Industry*' 
and “The Film and the Public’*. The Committee would, however, welcome 
the views of members of the film industry about the social aspects of the film 
also, as well as any suggestions from the public about the industry itself. 
Spare copies of either part can be had on application to the Secretary. 

Each part has a number of sections covering different aspects of the enquiry. 
Replies need not, however, be confined to those aspects with which you are 
directly concerned. The detailed queries under each head are intended only 
to indicate the type of information sought and the particulars considered use- 
ful, but it is not necessary that they should all be answered and in the order 
given, or that the answers should be confined to those points. Information 
could also be given in the form of a continuous note, or as memoranda on 
different subjects. 

The information received in written form will be supplemented later by 
oral evidence to be taken at Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Nagpur, Lucknow and 
Simla. If you would like to elucidate your written reply or add to it by 
giving evidence in person, please intimate to the Secretary the name of the 
centre where it would be convenient for you to meet the Committee. 

If you desire that the Committee should treat a part or the whole of your 
written evidence as confidential, please indicate this in your reply. Similarly, 
if you wish to be interviewed in c^era, kindly intimate this to the SecretarST 
in advance. 



1. What has been your experience as a producer? 

When did you first engage in film production? What were you before 
you became a producer? What induced you to take up film production? 
Have you been continuously engaged in production since you started on 4tr 
If there were any breaks, what were the reasons? Are you at present 
engaged in production? What are the other businesses on which you are 
currently engaged? On how many pictures were you engaged in the last 
three years? Have all of them been (a) completed, (b) censored. (c> 



2. What are the studio facilities aTailable to you? 

(If you have studios of your own please see also section— Studios). 

Do you rent studios for your productions? Which are the studios you 
have rented for your work? Have you tried different studios? What were 
your reasons for making the changes? Have you had any difficulties in 
securing studios when you wanted them? For what period is a studio 
engaged for the production of a picture? How many shooting days does 
this cover? Are there cases of delay because sets are not ready or for 
any other reasons? If so, what were the causes and how could such delays 
be obviated? Which have you found more convenient or more economical 
to rent, studios owned by producers, or independent studios which do not 
engage in production on their own account? Is the rental always paid in 
cash or do you give the studio owners a share in the production? Are you 
satisfied with the service provided? 

3. To what extent do you consider it necessary to expand studio facilities 

in the count;:. '* 

Do you feel that more studios should be built? Should the construction 
of more studios be left to individual enterprise? Do you think studio? 
can be built and run co-operatively by a number of producers? What do 
you think of the proposal that Government should maintain studios which 
would be made available on reasonable terms to small independent 

4. Is the progre.^s of the industry affected by the costs of production? 

Which would you consider your best picture and why? Which of your 
pictures brought in the greatest revenue and how would you explain its 
financial success? V/hich picture that you produced brought in the best 
returns in proportion to investment, and were you satisfied with the 
picture in other respects? What was your total production cost in each 
of the above instances? Would you say the success of a picture is In 
any way related to the amount spent on it? What would you say is the 
minimum cost of producing a good picture? How would you allocate 
this amount among the following heads:— (a) Story costs, including pre- 
paration of story, dialogue, scenario and lyrics; (b) cast Including extras 
and bit characters; (c) orchestra, composers, and voices for “play-back'*; 
(d) direction, including director’s assistants, technical advisers, etc.; 

(f) picture and sound negative, positive for rushes and processing; 

(g) transportation, tests, etc.; (h) editing charges, matching negative and 
cost of duplicate negative; (i) stills, publicity, etc.; (j) taxes payable 
specifically on production; (k) insurance; (1) overhead charges; (m) studio 
maintenance; (n) camera and lights, including cameraman and crew; 
(o) sound engineering; (p) sets and art-direction; (q) crew and labour? 
If studios are rented, w-hat would the proportion of rental be? Woidd 
it cover all the items; (m) to (q) fully or would the producer still have 
to incur additional expenditure? What would be the nature and amount 
of such additional expenditure? 

5. What are your views on ‘*dnbbed** films? 

Do you prepare dubbed versions of your own productions or others' 
productions? Do you generally dub a narrative on the sound-track or 
entire dialogue and music? Are you able to ensure necessary technical 
facilities at the studios? Is the dubbed film generally well^ received by 
cinema-goers? Are they critical of defects in synchronisation? Arc 


they prepared to overlook discrepancies between the setting, costume and 
even the look of the actor and the language in which his words are 
heard? How would the cost of dubbing compare with the cost of simul- 
taneously producing versions in diilercnt languages with different actors? 
Do you consider that dubbing is the best method of lowering production 
costs while achieving wider distribution? If you approve of dubbings 
would you extend the approval to dubbed versions of imported fllmsT 
If you disapprove of dubbing, would it be due to the fact that you pro- 
duce pictures in Hindi/Urdu which circulate all over India? 

8. What are your views on the financial basis of film production in India? 

How have you financed the production of your pictures? Were you 
satisfied with the terms on which you could secure financial backinf 
when it was necessary? Did you get adequate remuneration lor the 
work that you put in? What was your return on the capital invested! 
Was foreign capital invested in any of your productions? From your 
experience, which would you consider the most satisfactory means of 
financing production of pictures, from the producer’s own resources, from 
bankers’ loans or from distributors’ advances? Are you in favour of a 
Film Finance Corporation, which would make advances against films in 
production? What are the measures 3'^ou would suggest for safeguarding 
such advances? 

7 . Do the economics of the cinema affect the quality of the productions? 

Is there a link between the size of the consumer*group aimed at and 
the standard of a commercial production? If the need is to find t 
common denominator of appeal, to what extent has this to be lowered 
in order to cover larger and larger groups? Are conditions in India such 
as to demand a lower standard than in countries with a higher percentage 
of literacy and education? If half a crore of people must pay to see an 
Indian picture before it can cover production costs, would you say a low 
cultural standard is Inevitable? 

8. How is the content of the film decided? 

How do you settle upon the nature of your next production? Do you 
buy published stories, or choose from manuscripts submitted to you or 
commission stories to be written around themes selected by you? Do you 
plan on the basis that public demand runs in cycles, and that for a period 
of years a particular **formula’* brings in the best returns? Do you feel 
that producers who make a new departure more often fail than succeed? 
What was your own experience in the matter? Which are the themei 
most popular in Indian Pictures, **60cial” subjects, historical incidents^ 
comedies, thrillers, mythological incidents, dramatised versiozis of the 
classics, animated cartoons, film versions of stage plays? Do you take 
steps to assure yourself that the story you intend to produce is not open 
to objection from the censors? Do you consider the present proportions 
of music and dancing in all Indian pictures artistically justified? To 
what extent is the form of your production dictated by distributors? 
By exhibitors? Would you consider all their demands reasonable? 

9. How do you book actors for your productions? 

Do you think it has worked out to the advantage of the producers to 
centre all publicity around a few stars? Would you prefer it if start 
are bound by long term contracts to individual producers? How do you 
choose the “leads” for your pictures? On their popularity, or (heir 


standing in the industry? On their suitability for the parts? On their 
musical ability? Do you think the salaries of artists are too high, reason- 
able. or on the whole on the low side? Have you had any difficulty la 
securing actors and actresses of the right type? With the right cultural 
background? Have you had any difficulties or suffered any delays because 
your actors were not available when you wanted them? Have you been 
able to arrange as many rehearsals as you thought necessary? Has shoot- 
ing ever been held up because actors were not ready with their parts? 
Are you satisfied with the facilities available for engaging actors for 
small parts or extras for your productions? Is there a Casting Bureau 
in your town? How frequently do you employ their services? 

10. Do yon use ^^lay-back** voices for your actors? 

Do you feel that the use of such voices is necessary? Do you use 
them for dialouge? If so, is it because the actors are not sufficiently 
familiar with the language of the main production, because their voice 
and diction are not good, or for the preparation of dubbed versions? Dt 
you use “play-back” voices for songs? Is it because the actor (or actress) 
cannot sing at all or cannot sing well enough? Are there occasions whea 
you use “play-back” even for an actor who can sing, because he is 
engaged at the same time on other productions and cannot spare the time 
for rehearsals? Do you know of instances whore producers have been com- 
pelled to use (a) the same voice for different characters, (b) different 
voices for the same character, all in the same picture? Does the public know 
of this indiscriminate use of voices? If so, does it mind? Would you 
defend the practice or would you say it is inevitable? Do you think U 
will remain a permanent feature of the Indian film industry? Do you 
think it offends against the canons of true art? Or that it would ultl* 
mately recoil on the industry? How do you select the persons to be 
employed to provide the voice? On their popularity on the screen— on 
the radio — on gramophone records? On their reputation? On the quality 
of the voices? On their suitability for the parts? On their appropriate' 
ness for the actors for whom they will be used? Are there new volcai 
coining up In sufficient number? Is the lack due in any way to wa nt rf 
encouragement and the readiness with which a large number of produoeri 
agree to share a limited number of good voices? Do you engage coaches for 
teaching diction, voice production or singing? What measures do you 
think the industry should adopt to encourage voice and musical trainini 
among those who show talent? 

11. What are the means you adopt for ascertaining the trend of pnUto 

demand? * 

Are you guided by the success or failure of other pictures with similar 
themes, or using the same stars? Do you hold pre-release shows to 
hand-picked audiences whose judgment you would consider reprewntatlve 
of the views of the public? Do you conduct any sort of audience re- 
search? Do you place reliance on ballots held and questionnaires issued 
by you or your distributors, or by film magazines? Which of your 
methods of estimating the success of the picture came nearest to the 
actual results? 

12. Have you been able to secure all the raw film that you require? 

What is your annual demand for film stock, sound and picture, nega- 
tive and positive? What , is the average negative footage shot by you 
for a feature running to, say, 11,000 ft. in the release-print? Have ^ 
bad difficulties in obtaining supplies? Have you had occasion to protest 


against any discrimination shown by suppliers? Have you had to change 
from one make of dim to another? Has the supply position aHected 
production in any way? Do you think there is wastage of raw film *n 
production? What measures would you suggest to minimise any sv/?hr 

13. What are your arrangements for distributing your productions? 

Do you do your own distribution or do you entrust it to distributors? 
If you have your own organisation, do you handle pictures of other 
producers also? Do you have any theatres under your own control? 
What is the percentage of your own pictures shown at such theatres? 
If a distributor handles your pictures, is he confined solely to your pro- 
ductions or does he handle others also? Does he act as your agent for 
the distribution or do you part with exploitation rights? Do you utilise 
a number of distributors for different parts of the country? Do you 
reserve song-book rights? Gramophone rights? Export rights? Dub- 
bing rights? What are your arrangements for exploiting these? Have 
you ever produced pictures specially commissioned by a distributor and 
if so on what terms? 

14. Wbat are your arrangements for publicity? 

Do you make all the arrangements for publicity or do you entrust 
part or the whole to the distributor? Do you employ publicity men on 
your staff? Who is responsible for scrutiny of stills and material for 
publicity campaigns? Do you consider your present publicity budget 
Justified in terms of results? To what extent can you cut it down if 
other producers would also cut down their budgets? 

15. Is there over-production in the Indian Film Industry? 

Is it a fact that many completed films have not yet been exhibited? 
If so, what are the factors that have led to such a position? Do you 
feel that the industry is turning out far too many films? Is there a 
large number of films of the wrong type being produced? Would you 
suggest a restriction in output so that each picture gets a chance? 
Should there be any restriction on the number of producers, or on the 
number of productions per year, or both? Do you think the industry 
can itself impose voluntary restrictions on its output? Do you favour 
Gk>vernment control? 


1. If you have studios of your own where are they located? 

Are the surroundings pleasant? Is the location free from noise? Are 
there other studios in the same locality? Is it well served by public 
utilities? Public transport? Would you favour the grouping of a num* 
ber of studios in each city in the same locality in a kind of “Pilm-colony*7 
What are the requirements that such a locality should fulfil? 

2. What are the facilities available at your studios? 

How many sound stages do you have and what are their dimensions? 
Are your lighting facilities adequate for large sets? For colour work? 
How many black and white and colour cameras and sound-recording 
channels do you have? Have you facilities for producing animated 
cartoons? Have you separate sound studios for scoring and re-recording? 
Have you any facilities for dubbing or lip-synchronising? Have you a 


projection room? Are editing facilities available? Have you laboratoriei 
of your own for processing film? (Please see also section Processing 
Laboratories.) Have you found all these adequate for your needs or da 
you plan to extend them? How did you finance the original instal* 
lations? Is any foreign capital invested in your firm? When did you 
Install the bulk of your equipment? Which of them would have to be 
replaced soon because they are worn out or because of new technical 
developments? Which are the items that have been acquired on pur- 
chase and which on lease? How do you propose to finance any extensions 
planned by you? How many persons do you employ in the varioiiS 

3. How fully are those facilities utilised? 

Do you undertake production on your own account or in partnership? 
What is the extent to which your studios are engaged on such produc- 
tions? Do you hire out the studios to outside producers? What arc ihe 
usual terms for such hiring? Has such hiring-out proved remunerative? 
Is the rental paid in advance or out of the earnings of the picturiis? 
What is the usual period covered in a hiring-contract? Are there casaf 
of delays because the producer is not ready? Do such delays happen in 
the case of your own productions or outside productions? Can you 
undertake more pictures in a year? 

4. How are your working costs distributed? 

Out of the studio costs on each feature picture, what fraction would 
represent the expenditure on (a) installation ‘ and maintenance of che 
studios, (b) installation and maintenance of photographic, lighting, and 
sound equipment, (c) wages of technical and other stafi', (d) cost of 
stores and materials consumed on sets, (e) rent of ground and taxes, and 
(f) power charges? Which of the items can be reduced by re-location 
cf the studios, modernisation, cutting down wastage of material, idl« 
hours, etc.? What are the changes you would suggest in production 
methods to bring down costs? 

5. MThat are the difficulties you have encountered in studio operation? 

Are you able to obtain freely the spares and stores required for 

• operation and maintenance of (a) the photographic section, (b) the sound 
section, (c) electrical and lighting section and (d) laboratory section? 
Are these available at reasonable prices in the market? What is the 
proportion of locally manufactured stores in each category? Have you 
had any trouble in securing constructional material for sets? Acoustic 
Insulation or building material for studios? Difficulties owing to local 
regulations? Restrictions on power supply? Lack of space for expan- 
sion? Difficulty in securing technicians, musiciahs, skilled workers, etc.? 
Difficulties owing to industrial disputes or the nature of the machinery 
for their settlement? Any other difficulties? 


1. What is the extent of your interest in film processing? 

Do yop have laboratories for processing film? Do you undertake 
processing only in respect of your own studio productions or do you 
undertake outside work also? How did you finance the installation? 
Js any share in your undertaking held by any producer, distributor, dealer 
in new films, or dealer or manufacturer of equipment? By foreign, 


t. Where are year laboratories located? 

Are they close to the film studios? On the same premises? If the 
studios in your city are re-located, would you like to move to the new 
locality? What are the public utility services that you would need there? 

8. What is the capacity of your laboratory? 

What is the out-turn per shift of 8 hours in terms of negative and 
positive footage on the basis of 9 minutes and 3 minutes development 
time respectively? What is the capacity of your printing section per 
shift? Have you facilities for optical and “trick” printing? Are you 
equipped also for processing and printing 16 mm. film? For reduction 
from 35 mm.? Have you editing facilities? Storage facilities? Are your 
laboratories air-conditioned? Have you facilities lor handling colour? 
Can you process colour film of reversal or negative-positive types? Can 
you prepare colour-separation negatives from co!our film? Can you do 
imbibition printing from such negatives? How many technicians do you 
employ in the various sections? 

4. Have you any p!ans for installing new equipment? 

if so, is it to replace worn-out equipment, to take advantage of 
new deveiopmenls, to add new facilities, or to expand your capacity? 
How cio you propose to finance the installation? Can such equipment 
be readily obtained in the market? 

5. What are your views on the manufacture of processing plant la 


Was any part of your equipment manufactured In India? Have you 
had any experience of processing plant made in India? 

8. Are there any occupational basards in your laboratories? 

Do you use any developers or other chemicals which are poisonous 
on contact? What are the precautions that you observe? Are any 
poisonous fumes or vapours evolved in any of the processes? What 
are the provisions made for extracting such fumes? 

7. Have yon any arrangements for the recovery of silver from baths? 

What is the footage of positive and negative cine-film processed In* 
your laboratories in each year? Have you installed silver-recoveiy 
plant? What is the value of silver thus recovered? 

6. What are your difflenlties? 

Have you any difficulties in securing finances lor equipment oi 
operation? Any difficulties in securing eauipment? Have you had any 
difficulties in obtaining supplies of chemicals of the requisite standard? 
Do you use chemicals manufactured in India? What has been youi 
experience with such products? Have you had any difficulty in securing 
technicians for running your laboratories? Any industrial disputes? 


1. What are the usual conditions of employment as directors and assls* 

Are you a director or assistant director? If so, for how long have you 
been so employed? What were you before? Are you engaged in other 
work algo at present? Did you receive any special training in direc- 
tion? Did you serve any period of apprenticeship? Are you engaged 


for the production of a particular picture or employed on a monthly 
talary? Do you change from one producer to another, and if so for 
* what reasons? Do you take any part in the preparation of the story? 
Do you start with a complete ^shooting script or do you work 
on it as you proceed? Do you have to modify your story at the 
Instance of actors, distributors, financiers, or any others who have an 
Interest in the picture? Have you ever had to accept changes which 
you did not like? Which of your pictures gave you the highest artistic 
satisfaction? Which brought in the best returns? Do you receive any 
bonus on successful pictures? Do you belong to anj' union or associa* 
tion of film workers? What are the benefits you have derived from 
such membership? Have you any suggestions for the improvement of 
the industry and the conditions of service? 

2. What are the conditions of service of art directors and assistants? 

Are you engaged as art director or as assistant? Since when? 
Have you been trained in any school of art or architecture? Have you 
served any apprenticeship? Are you employed by some studio or by 
independent producers? Are you in regular salaried employment or 
are you engaged for particular pictures? Do you belong to any associa- 
tion of workers in art? If so, what are the benefits you have derived 
from such membership? Have you any suggestions for improvlnig 
the conditions of service or the standards of Indian productions? 

3. How are writers employed in the industry? 

Are you engaged in preparing stories for the screen? What do you 
^ do, write stories, adapt them, prepare shooting scripts, write dialouge 
or songs? Are you engaged separately for each picture or do you work 
regularly for some producer? Have you had previous experience in 
writing books, short stories, poems, etc,? Have any of your works 
been published? Do you still do any writing apart from your film work? 
Do you belong to any association of writers or any copyright protection 
society? If so, what are the benefits you have derived from such 
membership? Have you any suggestions for the improvement of the 
conditions of service or the standards of Indian films? 

4. How are the conditions of service of acton and actresses? 

Do you act in films? When did you commence this career? What 
were you before? Have you been acting without a break? Have you 
been engaged also in production or distribucion? Did you have any 
training or stage experience before starting to v/ork for the films? 
What do you play, “leads”, “characters”, “bit parts”? Are you in receipt 
of a lump sum fee for each picture, a monthly salary, weekly or dally 
fees? Do you get any royalties or other special payments in connection 
with your film work? Do you belong to any union or association of 
film artists? If so, what are the benefits you derive from such member- 
ship? Have you any' suggestions for improving the standards of acting 
or the conditions of service? 

5. How are musicians employed in the film industry? 

Are you a singer, instrumentalist, composer or conductor? Have you 
had any special training? Did you serve afiy apprenticeship? Are you 
now employed in a studio or by an independent producer? Are you 
engaged for each picture separately or are you in regular employment? 
Have there been breaks In employment owing to slumps or other 


teasons? Do you belong to any association of musicians or artists sad* 
11 so, with what benefits? Have you any suggestions lor improvliil 
conditions of service or standards ol Indian films? 

6. What are the conditions of employment as camera-rmen and assistants? 

Are you working as camera-man or in the camera or lighting crew? 
How long have you been so engaged? Did you receive any special 
training or serve any apprenticeship? Have you been in continuous 
employment? Are you employed by the studios or by the producers 11 
they are different? Have you had any breaks in your employment? 
Have you found difficulty in securing fresh employment? Which would 
you consider the most outstanding among the films on which you have 
worked? Do you belong to any association or union of technicians? 
What are the benefits you have derived by such membership? Have 
you any suggestions for improving the conditions of employment or the 
standards of Indian films? 

7. What arc the conditions of employment of laboratory technicians? 

Are you a processing technician? How long have you been so 
employed? Did you have any training? Have you done any experi- 
mental or original work? Are there facilities for such work where you 
are employed? Do you belong to any association or union of techni- 
cians. What are the benefits you have derived from such membership? 
Have you any suggestions for improvement of the conditions of service 
in the industry or the standards of Indian films? 

6. How are skilled workers employed in the industry? 

Are you employed as a skilled .worker in a film studio? Have you 
had any training for the job? How do wages in the film industry com- 
pare with wages for similar employment in other industries? Is there 
a large proportion of casual workers in your branch of work? Is there 
a high turn-over among the workers? If so, what arc the reasons? Do 
you belong to any union and, if so, what are the benefits you have 
derived from the union? Have you any suggestions for improving the 
conditions of service or for the advancement of the industry? 


1. What is the nature of your experience as a distributor? 

Do you handle theatrical distribution only, non-theatrical distribu- 
tion only, or both? Do you handle standard size film only, sub-standard 
only or both categories of films? Do you distribute your own produc- 
tions, or films produced by others, or both? Which new pictures have 
you distributed during each of the last three years under any of the 
above arrangements? Which of them were imported films? How many 
new pictures are released each year in the area covered by your organi- 
zatiGo and how many of these are handled by you? Is any share id 
your undertaking held by any producer, distributor, dealer in cinema 
film or equipment, or exhibitor? Indian or foreign? 

2. What is the extent ol your interest in film production? 

Are you financially interested in any firm of producers? Do you 
finance producers? Is such financing against assignment of rights or 
options? Do you undertake the preparation of “ciubced** versions of 
imported or Indian films? Do you commission the production of films 
to meet your requirements, and if so, on what ierms? Do you deal 
in raw films, chemicals or production equipment? 


3. What is the basis on which you take over distribution of films? 

Do you purchase entire negative rights against lump sum payments? 
Do you secure exploitation rights only? Sole exploitation rights or only 
for specified areas? Do you handle export rights? Dubbing rights? 
Gramophone and book rights? Are all these against lump payments, or 
guaranteed returns, or fixed sum plus royalties payable when revenue 
exceeds specified limits? Do you act as agent of the producer working 
on a percentage of the revenue? Do the arrangements involve your 
printing the necessary number of copies or does the producer furnish 
the copies? Have you contracts with any producers giving you exclusive 
rights in all their productions, or the first refusal? Are you under con- 
tract to take over the entire output of any producer? Are you free to 
handle the output of any producer? From how many difierent producers 
have you taken over films for distribution during each of the last three 

4. Are you satisfied with the results of your arrangements with pro- 


Have any of your arrangements resulted in financial loss to you? 
Did such Joss occur when you financed a film in the making and It 
turned out a failure? Or when you acquired rights in a completed 
picture and public tastes proved difierent? Has any picture been 
adversely affected by censorship after you had acquired rights in It? 
Has any picture been killed or adversely affected by press criticism, Of 
its earnings reduced by unfair action by other producers or distributor!? 
Whai were the circumstances in each of such cases? 

5. What is the extent of your share in the publicity arrangements tog 


Do you handle the publicity for the pictures distributed by you? b 
any part of the expenditure met by the producer? Is a publicity section 
part of your own organization or is the work entrusted to advertising 
agents? Arc printing presses in this country equlppeii to turn out 
posters, throwaways, hand-bills, etc. to your satisfacUon? Do you pro* 
pare the stills, etc. for display in lobbies or does the producer supply 
these? What is your expenditure on publicity for (1) average pictures, 
(2) special features? What percentage would this be of the price o( 
the picture or of rental revenues? What are the proportions spent Oh 
newspaper publicity and on film magazines? Do you own, pubUiki 
control, or share in any film magazine? 

6. How are rentals charged? 

Is the rental for Indian pictures fixed at a certain figure per shoif 
or per week or is it a percentage of the box-odice revenue? On what 
basis arc imported pictures rented out? How do the rentals for Indian 
pict«rc.<! compare with rentals for imported pictures? How do rental! 
for dubbed versions compare with rentals for the original versionS| in 
the case of imported films and in the case of Indian films? 

7. What is the screening time required for satisfacotry revenue from a 

picture? ^ ■ 

In how many weeks* showing would you expect to cover (a) tbi 
first 51) per cent, of anticipated revenue, (b) the next 25 per esfii 


ar»d (c) the final 25 per rent.? How many weeks of this should be fa 
majcr cities of over 10 lakhs population, how many weeks in large towns 
of over one lakh population and how many weeks in smaller towniT 
With the existing number of theatres, how many months would it take to 
secure the necessary screening time and recover these proportions of tho 
total revenue? 

8. What is the extent of your interest in the exhibition side of thO' 


Do you own, control, or have shares in any theatres? Have you 
block-booking arrangements with any theatre-circuits or with indivi- 
dual theatres? Do you ever rent theatres ^)r the exhibition of your 
pictures? Is such renting to provide for the release of particular 
pictures or to secure an outlet in that town for any productions that 
may be handled by you? Do you finance the construction of theatres? 
Do you deal in projection equipment? Theatre furniture and fittings? 
Do you sell such equipment against payment by instalments? Do such 
time-payment contracts include provisions regarding exhibition of your 
pictures? Have you any relations with exhibitors apart from those 
covered by para. 6 above? Have you had difficulties in securing theatres 
for the release of pictures, or for second-run theatres? Are there as 
many theatres as you think necessary to screen all current productions? 
Do you feel that exhibitors are taking advantage of any shortage of 
theatres? Are too many theatres controlled by producers themselves« 
or by other distributors? What is the extent to which your revenues 
are derived from travelling cinemas? What is the extent of non- 
theatrical distribution in your area? 

9. What are the difficulties which face distributors? 

Are the rules regarding storage of films and their transport by rad 
satisfactory in working? Would you prefer to change to safety-base 
film when this is available? (Please see also section-Exhibition, re: 
Use of safety-base film.) Is railway transit sufficiently rapid and reli- 
able? What are the taxes you pay as distributor and are there any 
hardships caused by non-uniformity of taxation or the rules regarding 
levy? Have you had any difficulties because of poor equipment used 
in the theatres, such as unfavourable impression produced on the 
audience because of bad projection or sound, damage to copies because 
of mechanically defective projectors, bad splices due to carelessness of 
operators, etc.? Any other difficulties? 

10. Do you consider that greater use of copies on 16 mm, film will help 


Would such use permit films being shown in areas not yet touched 
by your organization? Would you suggest use In small theatres to be 
newly opened or in new travelling cinemas? Would it result In greater 
revenue? What means would you suggest for encouraging such develop- 

F, EXHmrnoN m theatres; 

1, What is your interest in the exhibition of films? 

How many theatres do you have under your control? How, many 
travelling cbiemas? Do they form p'art of a circuit with joint booking 
arrangements? How have you financed the construction of these 
theatres? Do you own the sites or buildings or have you taken them 

ffii Jeese? 


2. Wbat Is the extent of your coveraxe as an exhibitor? 

What are the names of the theatres you control? Where is each 
located? Which of them are “first-run” theatres and which “second** 
run”? Do you operate any travelling cinemas? What is the total seat- 
ing capacity of each theatre and travelling cinema under your control? 
Into how many classes is the seating capacity divided? How many seats 
are there in each class? What is the admission charge for each class? 
What are your average weekly collections at each theatre and for each 
class? How many months in the year do the travelling cinemas operate? 
Excluding time for moving, how many weeks’ showing can each of them 
manage in a year? Which is the territory covered by them? 

3. Are you interested in other aspects of the film industry? 

Do you finance or share in production or distribution? Do you deal 
in raw film, chemicals, equipment, accessories or material? Do you 
publish or share in the publication of film-journals? 

4. Have you any standing arrangements for the supply of films £of 


Do you have contracts with producers or with distributors for the 
exhibition of their films? Do such arrangements cover one of your 
theatres, some of them or all of them? Are you under contract to 
exhibit all films sent to you or can you choose from a list? If you can 
choose, is it on the basis of advance publicity or trade shows? Do the 
arr;ii::iements preclude your exhibiting the films released by other pro- 
ducers or distributors? Do you consider that your arrangements arc 
working satisfactorily? 

Do you book films singly for exhibition. In your theatres? 

If you have no regular arrangements for the supply of films, or if 
they do not cover all your neeas, how else do you secure them? Are 
trade-shows held frequently in your place? Have you ever been obliged 
to hold over a picture because you have not been able to secure another 
in time? Have you been handicapped for lack of good films because 
producers and distributors have their own outlets in the towns you 

d. How do you secure films for travelling cinemas? 


Do you get them under any of the arrangements mentioned in paraa, 
4 and 5 above? Under any other arrangements? Do you purchase 
copies for your own use? If so, do you pay any further royalties in 
addition to the purchase price? Is there any limit to the number of 
years during which you can show the copy? ’ 

7. For what period do you run the same picture at a theatre? 

How long do you run a successful picture? An average picture? 
Do sron think a picture earns more if it is run continuously at one 
theatre than if the picture is taken ofT after a specified period, and 
exhibited again after a lapse of time at a *‘se(?ond-run” theatre? Would 
the circumstances that dictate the present practice continue to exist 
even if the number of theatres cvarlahle is dmiblf'd*' Is there much of 
copying of themes, music, gags, ideas, etc., from exhibited pictures which 
makes it imperative to collect the maximum revenue at the first run 

before the imitations appear on the screen? In the case of travelling 
cinemasi are there changes of picture, in each town, from a stock 
repertory, or do you show the same picture for the duration of the 

8. Can the run of a picture be curtailed if you so desire? 

Is there any stipulation, when booking a picture, about the period 
for which it must compulsorily be shown at any theatre? Is such period 
based on a certain minimum of revenue in each week ^ or is it fixed by 
the supplier? Is it subject to modification later if the copy is needed 
elsewhere, or if the picture proves unprofitable, or for any other reason? 

9. Do you consider the present rate of rentals fair to the exhibitor? 

What is the usual basis on which you pay rental for films, a fixed sum 
or a percentage of the box-office revenue? Do you make, advance payments 
to producers or distributors before a picture is released? Does this help 
you to secure screening rights earlier or on more advantageous terms? 
What is the total amount paid by you to (a) producers and (b) distri- 
butors in respect of each picture screened by you during the last three 
years? What is the average share of box office revenue retained by 
you? Does it leave an adequate margin after covering working expenses? 

If not, would it be possible to increase admission charges? Do you 
rent your theatre to producers or distributors? Is such renting for a 
specific period or for a particular picture? In the latter case, what are 
the provisions for deciding the end of the run? Does such theatre- 
renting prove more satisfactory than running pictures on your own 

10. Do you arrange your own local publicity? 

Is there any stipulation in the rental arrangements regarding local 
publicity? Calculated on the basis of revenue (excluding taxes on 
tickets) what percentage would such publicity expenditure amount to? 
Are any taxes payable on such local publicity? 

11. VThat are your views on the use of safety-base (non-inflammable) 

Have you had any experience with release-copies printed on safety- 
base films? If the general use of safety-base film would permit relaxa- 
tion of some of the regulations under the Cinematograph Act, would you 
favour the change-over? Would you favour regulations making the use 
of safety-base film compulsory? If so, what period should be allowed, 
after such film is available in India, before the use of inflammable film 
is banned? 

12. What is the condition of your theatres? 

When was the building completed? Treated for sound? Haye you 
been able to modernise your theatre and approaches? Install new seat- 
ing? Air-condition the theatre? What are your urgent needs? What 
are your difficulties in securing your requirements? 

13. What is the condition of your equipment? 

Is it of post-war manufacture? If pre-war, does it need renewd? 
Have you obtained it on outright purchase instalment purchase or lease? 
What are your difficulties in modernising your equipment? From 


which countries do the main items of the equipment come from? Are 
the items normally purchased from ready stocks in India or procured 
on special indent? Is there any standardisation of designs and types 
with a view to interchangeability of spares? Would all your equipment 
meet the relevant specifications laid down by the SMPE? Have you had 
any difficulty in obtaining new equipment? In obtaining running spares, 
carbons, etc.? 

14. Have you lad any difficulty in getting electric supply for your 

Do you purchase electric power from the local supply authority? Are 
there restrictions on the maximum load that you can connect to the 
mains? Is there a limit on maximum consumption? Can you increase 
the number of shows held each day? Do you generate your own power? 
Does such power meet all your needs? 

15. What are the local restrictions on the construction of new theatres? 

Are there local restrictions about the areas where theatres could be 
located? Restrictions on the construction of buildings for use as theatres? 
Restrictions on the use of specified building materials? How far have 
such restrictions affected your opening new theatres? 

16. What taxes are payable by you as an exhibitor? 

What are the rates of entertainment tax charged in your area? What 
is the average amount of entertainment tax collected weekly in respect 
of each class of ticket at your different theatres? What do you pay bv 
way of theatre licence fees? What are the other taxes payable by 

17. Are the regulations governing cinema theatres working satisfac- 

Do you consider them adequate, stringent, or lax? Do they restrict 
the growth of the industry? In which directions would you consider 
relaxation necessary in order to encourage the opening of more cinemas? 
How frequently are cinemas inspected? Have there been any warnings 
issued or prosecutions launched within your knowledge? 

18. Are any limits prescribed in respect of working hoiir^? 

What is the earliest hour when, you can start? The latest hour tor 
closing? Are they prescribed by the local government or municipality? 
Are limits set by the electric power supply authority? Does the local 
labour code prescribe the maximum spread of working hours for each 
shift of employees? Are there any exemptions granted for holidays 
and festival days? How many days in the year are so exempt? 


1. What is the extent of your interest in the supply of technical equip- 
~ ment for the film indstury? 

Are you an importer, distributor or manufacturer of equipment used 
in the film industry? Which sections are you interested in, photographic 
equipment, sound equipment, lighting and auxiliary equipment, printing 
processing and editing equipment, projection equipment, ventilation and 
air-conditioning equipment? Which of these do you manufacture in 
India and which do you import from abroad? Which are the countries 
from which you draw your supplies? 

2. What is the annual demand for such equipment and to what estant 

can it be met from local production? 

What has been your turnover in the various lines handled during the 
last three years? What is your estimate of annual demand on the basis of 
normal use, replacement in ten years, and expansion not limited by 
import restrictions? If imports are drastically restricted, What percent^ 
age of this demand can reasonably be met from local production in 
respect of original equipment and of maintenance stores? 

3. Are you interested in the manufacture of equipment in India? 

Ai 0 you already engaged in such manufacture? What do you make In 
India? Have you met with any difhcultics? Would you be willing to expand 
your production or to undertake the manufacture of items not hitherto 
made here? What arc the special facilities that would be needed for 
manufacture in India of capital equipment as well as maintenance- 
spares? Establishments for precision manufacture? Research facilities? 
Patent arrangements? Advanced optical and electronic industries In 
the country? To what extent would you look to Government for assist- 
ance in this matter? 

4. Which are the lines which you could manufacture locally? 

Photographic Equipment? Lighting Equipment? Sound Equipment? 
Processing Equipment? Printing Equipment? Editing Equipment? 
Projection Equipment? Would you consider the manufacture of com* 
plete machines, of parts and sub-assemblies only, or of parts and sub- 
assemblies leading up to the manufacture of complete machines? 


1. What is the extent cf your interest in the raw film trade? 

Are you a manufacturer, importer, distributor or dealer in cinema- 
tograph film? What is your annual turnover in the various types ol 
film? What is the total footage of each variety that you handled in 
each of the last three years? From which country or countries do you 
import these? From which manufacturers? Do you handle other light- 
sensitized material? Do you manufacture such material or import It? 

2. Have supplies of raw film been freely available? 

Have you had difficulties in receiving all the quantity you needed? 
Have you had to restrict supplies to producers? Was the shortage due 
to manufacturers’ delays or import restrictions? At what figure would 
you put your annual demand? Do you think consumption can be reduc- 
ed by rationalisation in the industry? 

3. Would you undertake manufacture of raw film in India? 

Which are the processes that you would undertake in Indla^-^manu- 
facture of the cellulose plastic, casting of film, emulsion coating, slitting, 
perforation? Where would you obtain the raw materials for the stage 
at which you would commence? How many years would it take betef 
you can start from the first operations? What is the minimum annual 
output on which manufacture would be Justified in the case of each 
stage of manufacture? 

4. Would you need the co-operation of established manufacturers abroad? . 

Are there patented processes or trade secrets involved in any of the 
stages of manufacture? Would you be able to guarantee results from 
each batch of your output? If cost of raw film is only a small fraction 
of the cost of producing a picture, would producers be ready to take 
the risk of using an untried product? Would the use of an established 
trade mark, or association with a maker of repute, help in marketing? 

5. Can the manufacture of cinema film be associated with other indus- 


Would it be possible to carry out the manufacture of the plastic raw 
materials in combination with any Industries now existing in India 
to be started? Can the manufacture of film or its coating be combined 
with the manufacture of photographic film for amateur or industrial 
use? Would differences in film or emulsion reduce the advantages of 
combined manufacture? 

6. What assistance would you require from the Industry and from Got^ 

ernment to start the manufacture of raw film? 

Can you provide the capital required? Can it be raised in the 
market or from the film industry? Can the requisite machinery and 
raw materials be readily secured? Would the film industry in India 
provide an assured market? Are there any export markets you can 
count open? Would you need protection in any form? Would you need 
assistance in building up exports? 


1. To what extent is the industry assisted by associations of producers? 

If you are a member of any association of producers, what arc tha 
services which the association renders to the industry as a whole and 
to you as an individual producer? Is there library or reference unit 
maintained by the association and accessible to you which can be con- 
sulted regarding costumes, manners, architecture, historical facts, 
geographical details, etc. of different countries and difierent ages? Is 
there a film library where films from other countries are available for 
exhibition to producers, directors, etc.? Do6s the association run a 
casting bureau for the benefit of members? Does it publish a journal of 
interest to producers? Is there a legal organization maintained by the 
industry and available for consultation? Does it deal with complaints 
of plagiarism or copyright infringement by or against members? Does 
the association enforce a production code? Does it offer awards for 
productions? For directors or actors? 

2. To whal extent is tbe indnstry assisted by associations of stndio- 


If you are a member of any association of owners of studios and 
laboratories, what are the services which the association renders to 
members? Does it maintain a research laboratory for the study of new 
developments in technical equipment, materials and processes? Does 
•it or assist any training institution for technicians? Does it 

depute technicians to Western countries for study of the latest methods! 
Does it invite foreign experts to tour the area and explain new tech- 
niques and developments? 

3. To what extent is the industry assisted by associations of exhibitors? 

If you are an exhibitor and a member of such an association, what 
are the advantages that you derive from such membership? Does the 
association maintain theatres for trade shows? Does it arrange for the 
training of operators or examine and certify them? Does it undertake 
research and testing of structural and acoustic materials? Does it lay 
down standards of theatre-construction, lighting, projection, ventilation, 
seating, etc.? Does it test or certify material or equipment for use in 

4. To what extent is the industry assisted by associations of distributors? 

If you are a distributor and a member of such an association, what 
services does the association render you? Does it collect and distribute 
information about producers or productions? Does it maintain vaults 
for storage of film? Theatres for censorship or trade shows? Plant for 
the treatment of negatives and “lavenders”? Does it publish a trade 

5. To what extent and in what manner can the industry raise the 

standard of Indian film production? 

Would it be possible for the industry, acting in co-operation to pres- 
cribe certain minimum standards? To veto the screening of pictures 
below that standard? To adopt a system of quotas of screening time 
to various producers on the basis of the quality of their productions? 
To finance on a joint basis any independent producers with advanced 
ideas? Would it be possible to secure the co-operation of all producers* 
distributors and exhibitors in such joint action? What are the safe- 
guards you would provide for protecting the small man from being 
overwhelmed by big financial interests? To protect the interests of 
cultural minorities? 

6. Would you favour the constitution of a Film Council or Board which 

would serve the industry as a whole? 

Which of the services mentioned above should be undertaken by the 
Council? Should it act also as the medium of liaison with Government 
on matters affecting the Industry? Should it be a statutory body? What 
should be its constitution? How can it be financed? 

7. Would you favour the opening of Film Technical Institute to look 

after the technical development of the industry? 

What services should such a Film Institute undertake? Research? 
Training? Standardisation? Testing? How can manufacturers and 
users of technical material participate in running it? How can .the 
Institute be financed? _ Should its administration be entrusted to the 
Film Council? 

8. Would you favour the establishment of a Film Academy? 

Would you welcome a central body to look after the cultural aspects 
of the industry? Should it be entrusted with the charge of central film 
libraries? A central division for cultural research? Should it foster 
critical film appreciation among the public? Should it conduct nndi»ncg 
research? Should it promote the use of the film in educational and 


cultural pppliralions? Should it grant annual awards for outstanding 
woi^ among producers, directors, actors, technicians? How can such an 
academy be financed? Should its administration be vested in the Film 
Council? Should it have a voice in the Film Council? 

9. Would you favour a film cess for financing the above? • 

Which of the above, Film Council^ Institute and Academy can be 
financed by a cess? Should such cess be levied on footage produced or 
footage exhibited? Should such cess be levied on imported film also? 
Should exemptions be granted for any particular categories of films? 


1. To what general factors would you ascribe the popularity of imported 

films among those who understand English? 

Are the imported pictures better technically than Indian pictures? 
Bo they present more interesting stories? Are their **stars^’ better 
publicized? Is the acting and direction of a higher standard? Is the 
use of music more intelligent or original? Is the music more widely 
appreciated? Is the dialogue better written and delivered more natural- 
ly? Is their editing and presentation superior? Are they advertised 
more than Indian pictures? Are they exhibited in better theatres? To 
what extent do you consider any superiority of thematic material, acting 
and presentation due to freedom from inhibitions and prejudices on the 
part of foreign producers and audiences? To what extent do imported 
pictures benefit because of greater resources in writers, composers, 
directors and other creative artists? What portion of the credit is due 
solely to the greater financial resources of foreign producers? 

2. What types of imported films are most successfully exhibited in this 


Which categories of such films have the widest audience, e.g, melo- 
dramas, musicals, westerns, ‘‘costume-pictures’*, classics, comedies^ 
thrillers, animated cartoons, news-reels? 

To what extent do imported films compete with Indian productions? 

Do they compete directly or do they cater for diflerent audiences? 
If there is competition, is it primarily for screen time or for the cinema- 
goer’s money, or for both? Is the average rental of an imported feature 
higher or lower than the rental of Indian features? Is there much 
competition from foreign films with titles, narrative or “dubbed” clialouge 
in Indian languages? Are such films offered at lower rentals than the 
■original versions? 

4. What is the extent of the market for Indian films among Indians 


Is there a regular export of films to Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, Malaya, 
East and South Africa, etc.? Are Indian Films shown in Siam, Fiji. 
Mauritius, Trinidad, British Guiana? To what extent is the market 
•competitive and what is the degree of preference shown by Indian 
audiences? How far is the preference due to the language of the 
picture, to the music used, to familiarity with the culture presented*^ 
What assistance if any would the industry need to build up a large 
export trade? Are the films ever seen by the nationals of overseas 


5. What success has , been achieved in the production of films for foreign 

Have any films been produced specifically for export overseas? Have 
any been- modified to make them suitable for exhibition overseas? Was 
dialogue or narration dubbed in English or foreign languages, or sub- 
titles added in such languages? Where were the films sent? Were 
they successfully screened? What were the difficulties that had to bo 
overcome? Would you consider it possible for Indian films to secure a 
regular market among foreign nationals in competition with local pro- 
ductions and imports from the U.S.A. or Western Europe? What 
assistance would the industry need to build up such export market?? 

Questionnaire on the Film and the Public 


The Film Enquiry Committee request that any information that you can 
furnish on the point's raised in the questionnaire may kindly be sent to them 
at an early date. 

The questionnaire has been drawn up in two parts, “The Film Industry*’ 
and “The Film and the Public”. The Committee would, however, welcome 
the views of members of the film industry about the social aspects of the film 
also, as well as any suggestions from the public about the industry itselt 
Spare copies of either part can be had on application to the Sccrctaiy, 

Each part has a number of sections covering different aspects of the 
enquiry. Replies need not, however, be confined to those aspects with which 
you are directly concerned. The detailed queries under each head are 
Intended only to indicate the type of information sought and the particulars 
considered useful, but it is not necessary that they should all be answered 
and In the order given, or that the answers should be confined lo those points. 
Information could also be given in the form of a continuous note or as 
memoranda on different subjects. 

The information received in written form will be supplemented later by 
oral evidence to be taken at Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Nagpur, Lucknow 
and Simla. If you would like to elucidate your written reply or add to it 
by giving evidence in person, please intimate to the Secretary the name of 
the centre where it would be convenient for you to meet the Committee. 

If you desire that the Committee should treat a part or the whole of your 
written evidence as confidential, please indicate this in your reply. Similarly, 
if you wish to be interviewed in camera, kindly intimate this to the Secretairy 
in advance. 



1. How often do yon visit the cinema? 

Do you see films regularly or only occasionally? Would your viaitr 
average one a week* or more, one a month, twice a year or less? Would 
you go oftener if you had the time? 


t. How do you choose the pictures to visit? 

On the basis of newspaper advertisements? Recommendations of film 
magazines? Reviews and notices in the papers? Suggestions from friends 
who are regular cinema-goers? Have you been disappointed when you saw 
the picture? Occasionally or frequently? 

8. Have you any particular preferences among pictures? 

Do you see imported films? More often than Indian films? Out of the 
various categories of imported films such as comedies, musicals, melodramas, 
adaptations from the classics, “Westerns”, thrillers, “jungle” stories, animated 
cartoons, documentaries, travelogues and film gazettes, news-reels, etc., in 
what order would you place your preferences? Do you see Indian films? 
More than imported films? Mostly Indian films? In what languages? Of 
the various categories of films produced in India, such as “socials”, historical 
incidents, mythological stories, film versions of classics, thrillers, documen- 
taries, news-reels, animated cartoons, musical comedies, etc., how would you 
rank your preferences? 

4. In what company do you visit the pictures? 

Do you go to the pictures alone? Do you take your family with you? Do 
you go with friends? 

6. Are the show-timings convenient? 

Which shows do you usually go to, afternoon, early cveaing or late 


6. What are your views on the duration of the shows? 

What is the averar^o duration of the shows you visit, 2 hours. 21 hours or 
more? Do you feel that they arc too short or too long? Wh??t do you feel 
should be the duration of the main feature? (The average Hollywood picture 
runs for IJ hours, the average Indian picture for 21 hours.) 

7. How do you like the location of theatres in your town? 

Do you think they are conveniently located? Is public transport available^ 
for all the shows? Would you prefer a number of cinemas located together 
in one area? Would you like them spread all round the town? Are the. 
cinemas inconveniencing residences or Institutions nearby? 

8. How is the condition of the cinemas yon usually visit? 

Are they well-maintained? Are there shelters for queues at the box-office? 
Are there facilities for parking vehicles? Are the premises kept neat? Are 
the seats convenient? Is the ventilation good? Sanitary conveniences clean 
and adequate? Can the screen be seen from all seats without strain? 

8. Would competition among theatres in your town ensure a good standard 
of theatre maintenance? 

Would you be deterred by the poor location or condition of a theatre if the 
picture is good? Is the popularity of a theatre so dependent on the pictures 
that the owner can leave it in a shabby or insanitary condition? To what 
extent can a theatre with modem interior decoration, seating and veniilation, 
even if it is showing a poorer picture attract you away from another which, 
is badly maintained but which is running a better picture? 

10. Hew do you find the Quality of the projection? 

’ Is the picture on the screen bright enough? Is the sound clear? Doe& 
the equipment work without breakdowns? 


11. Are the cinemas generally poular? 

Do you find them usually full? Do you have diflBculties in seeing a 
picture when you wish to? Do you think the demand justifies more cinemas 
in your town? 

12. Are the arrangements for selling tickets satisfactory? 

Are the boxrofflces open long enough? Are there adequate arrangements 
for queues? Is the queuing 'habit generally wide-spread? Are there satis- 
factory arrangements for advance booking? Is there any black-marketing in 
cinema tickets? What are the factors that contribute to such black-marketing 
and how would you suggest their elimination? 

^13. What is your estimate of the potential audience today? 

Are entrance charges such as to fill the theatres to capacity? 
class of seats is it necessary to come early to be able to get tickets. Are 
people turned away for want of accommodation? If mo^ theatres 
openecT would there be an increase in the total audience? By what percen- 


1. Do you visit the cinema more frequently than before? 

Comparing your visits this year with, say, your visits two or 
ago. has there been an increase in the number now or a dcrease. 
your remarks apply also to those of your friends with whose habits you are 

^uite familiar? 

2. What arc the factors that you consider responsible for the larger cinema 

audiences today? 

The comparatively low cost of a visit to the cinema? Its ready availability 
whenever the mood seizes the patron? The absence of effort or strain in 
appreciation? The feeling of mass-participation? The appeal to both eye 
and ear? The minimum educational or cultural background demanded of 
the audience? The variety of material presented on the screen? The nature 
-of the material presented? 

3. From which classes do you think are the new cinema-goers drawn? 

Has the increase in cinema-audiences been drawn from the increased 
•number of wage earners in industry? From the greater number of youngsters 
who go to college? From more agriculturists who have cash in hand? From 
clerical and shop-workers who have more leisure under the new labour codes. 
From an increasing number of desk-workers? From a growing number of 
•educated unemployed? From demobilised army men? 

4. Do you think the cinema is patronised more by the young or old? 

Which of the following age-groups form the bulk of the audiences at the 

pictures you have seen? Below 18; Between 18 and 30; Betvreen 30 and i 
Over 50. Can you say -'^"hich of these go more regularly or frequently o 
cinema? On what would you base such a statement? Do you find that the 
age distribution in the audience varies with the nature of the picture. In 
what manner does it vary? Do you find many children in arms being 
brought to the cinema? 

5. Whaf is the proportion of women in the average audience? 

Does this vary between Indian pictures and English pictures? What is 
your estimate of the percentage of women in either case? Is it on the 
Increase? Does it depend on the type of picture shown and if so which are 
the types more popular with women? Does it vary with the timings and if 
150 which show have you found patronised more by women? 


1. What part does the story play in the satisfaction you get from a film? 

Do you consider a plausible story and the logical development of the plot 
essential to the making of a good picture? To what extent would your 
comments apply to a picture that aims only at entertainment, a musical 
show, a light comedy, an animated cartoon? Did you find many imported 
films that met your standards? Many Indian films? To what extent is 
familiarity with the theme essential to enjoyment o£ the picture? Would you 
accept the statement that mythological themes and folk tales are favourites 
with the public because the stories are familiar? Did you generally like the 
stories depicted in the Indian pictures? If not, did your dissatisfaction with 
the story reduce your enjoyment of the picture? Have you seen film versions 
of well-known novels or plays? Would you say that stories by authors 
versed in the art of writing novels pleased you better than stories written 
for the screen? 

2, Which are the languages used in the majority of the pictures you have 


Have you seen more pictures in English or Hindi? What would the 
proportions be? In the Hindi pictures, did you find the language tend more 
towards Persian or towards Sanskrit? Would you say that in most cases it 
approximated towards the language spoken by the bulk of the people? Did 
you feel that concessions had been made for the needs of export markets? 
Or for the needs of areas where Hindi is not the majority language? Have 
you seen pictures in other Indian languages? Which languages? Regularly 
or occasionally? What are your views. on the language used in Indian 
pictures? Is it chaste? Appropriate? Did you feel that the literary back- 
ground of the writers was adequate? 

S. Do you consider the position of songs in Indian films is satisfactory? 

Do you think the number of songs in current Indian pictures justified? 
Do you like the songs? Do you feel that sometimes they interfere with the 
progress of the story or the realism of presentation? Would you say that 
many films owe their popularity entirely to their songs? Is it the association 
of the song and music with a situation or with a character on the .screen 
that makes a song popular, or can it stand by itself? Would you say that 
the words of the song arc effective? Would you say it is the music and the 
voice that count, and not the words? Would you mind if the voice is some- 
times not that of the persons seen on the screen? Or if the tune is exactly 
the same that you have heard in another picture? Do you thing the number 
of songs might be cut down with advantage? What are your views on the 
use of classical music in films? 

4. Do you like the inclusion of dances in films? 

Do you think 'they add to the value of every picture? Do you think the 
number of dances in a picture should be restricted? Do you think dances 
should not find place unless they play a part in the story? Would you apply 
such restrictions to musical comedies which make no pretence of telling a 
story? Do you think classical dances should be presented in place of those 
now shown? 


5. Do you favour the appearance of the same ^^stars'* in a large variety ot 
pictures? ^ 

Do you like it If the same actor appears in a number of films in differing 
characters? Do you have the feeling that you are seeing the same persons 
over and over again whichever Indian picture you go to? Are the actors able 
to submerge their individuality in the roles they play? Would you prefer it 
if the parts are played by people who can look like the characters they are 
supposed to depict? Have you any favourite stars whom you would not mind 
seeing in a large number of pictures every year? 


1. Would you consider the public able to decide what it wants to see? 

Would public opinion be sufficient to guide producers on the right lines? 
If 10% of each year’s productions are outstanding successes, 30% pay their 
own way and the rest fail to cover their costs, would you say that the public 
hs^ been effective in expressing its preferences? 

2. How is the cinema-goer’s approval or disapproval of a picture expressed 

and how does it affect the earnings of the picture? 

If he disapproves of a picture, does the cinema-goer walk out of the 
theatre? Have, you ever done so or have you seen any one doing it? Does 
he dissuade others from seeing it? If he likes the picture, docs he visit it 
again? Does he persuade his friends to see the picture? How far would 
you say that the opinions of those who have seen a picture affect those who 
have not yet seen it? 

3. To what extent is public acceptance conditioned by the cinema itself? 

Do cinema-goers look upon the. screen as a mirror of life? Do they con- 
sider it as depicting an ideal state of existence? An imaginary state of 
existence? Do they look for realism in the picture? Have they been so 
conditioned by what they have seen before that they expect and see only a 
different wmrld, with a new geometry and perhaps a more flexible ethical 
code, unrelated to the world outside the theatre? 

4. Docs the effect of a picture persist after the lights come on? 

Have you found any difference In the mood of the audience leaving a 
theatre after seeing a humorous story, a romantic story, a tragic story or one 
with a message? 


1. How far do press-reviews and notices affect the picturc-goers? 

Are reviews and notices used as a guide in the selection of pictures? Are 
they accepted by readers as unbiassed and uninfluenced by advertising 
patronage? Have they been, on any occasion, unfavourable enough to deter 

2. What is the effect of film-magazines on public opinion? 

Do they serve to create Interest in films? To what extent is such interest 
critical? How far does the industry depend upon articles in such magazines 
lor building up popularity for the “stars” or interest in a forthcoming picture? 
How far does it depend on advertisements in these magazines? 

5. Has the daily press ever been moved to criticize .the shown in the 


Do you know of any occasion when the dally press took editorial notice 
of a film? Was it to praise or criticize? What was the occasion? Do you 


feel that the press can do more towards raising the standard of fOms? What 
would you expect of them? 

4. Is there a sufficient body of film criticism? 

Which are the journals or papers which print critical appreciations of the 
film? Is film criticism developed to the same extent as literary or art 
criticism? How can the growth of informative and constructive criticism be 
encouraged? Are the reviewers in newspapers good critics of the film? The 
writers in film magazines? Where and how can good critics be brought 
together for an exchange of views? Can a journal of film criticism help? 
How can it be started? Will it pay its way? 


1. Hov/ does the average cinema-goer correlate what he secs on the screen 

with his personal experience? 

How far would he submerge his own commonsense or judgment to believe 
what he sees on the screen? Is this suggestibility in any way dependent on 
his educational background? Are women more liable to accept as factual 
the impressions they receive from the film? Are children more impression* 
able than adults? What are your reasons for making these statements? 

2. Do you know of any class of film shown in this country which has had a 

bad effect on children? 

Has there been any picture which stressed horror or cruelty in a manner 
that affected children? Did it affect normal children or only neurotic 
children? Has there been any picture which depicted family dissensions, 
quarrels and divorce in a manner which destroyed affection or respect for 
parents? Any film depicting gambling, drunkenness or vice, which destroyed 
regard for adults? Any film depicting criminals acts, which destroyed the 
child’s regard for law and order? Can you quote names of pictures and 
detailed instances of such harmful effects having teen caused? For which 
categories of films should children be banned from the auciiencre? Which 
categories could children be permitted to see if accompanied by parents or 
guardians who would explain the story and correct any wrong impressions? 

3. Has any class of film exhibited in the country had a bad effect on adole* 


How would you define adolescents? Which are the aspects of the film 
which you consider likely to have a harmful effect on the agc?-group you 
have in view— treatment of crime, cruelty, sex? In what way do you think 
they would be harmful? Do you know of any specific instances of such 
harmful effects? Would the present system of “A” and *‘U** certificates 
provide adequate control? Would you permit adolescents to see “A” pictures 
if accompanied by a parent or guardian? 

4. What is the effect of flcBonal films on the attitude of an individual 

towards his environment? 

Do film stories which show luxurious living arouse the envy of the have- 
nots? Does It give them a feeling of escape from their dreary surroundings? 
Do ''success-stories” on the screen arouse an emulative spirit in the audience? 
Do they arouse cynicism? Has the film industry adopted any axioms wbicli 
the public take for granted as applicable only to the make-believe life on the 
screen? Has this minimised the danger that might ensue from a misleading 
story? Has it reduced the utility of the fictional film in changing public 


5. How far do current fictional films affect the attitude of the public on 
matters of general interest? 

Would you consider it possible for such films to arouse enthusiasm about 
a public issue? Has such a result been achieved so far by any film that 
you can mention? Would you consider such an objective outside the scope 
of the normal commercial activities of the film industry? Should such 
results be attempted through films sponsored by the State? Would such 
activity be open to criticism as propaganda? 

6. How far is the factual film (news-reel or documentary) effective in 
influencing public attitudes? 

Apart from conveying information, is the factual film of today effective in 
altering the angle of vision of the public? Would you favour news-reels 
which show the effect of strong editorial views? Did you consider the 
“March of Time” series capable of affecting public opinion? Should such 
“featurising” be permitted? Should editorial views be permitted to influence 
pritvate news-reel production? Official news-reel production? Are news-reels 
ineffective today because they avoid vital issues and confine themselves to 
football matches and inaugural functions? How far can the documentary 
film affect public attitudes? Can it mitigate the impact of present-day 
difficulties by explaining the underlying factors? Can it reconcile the public 
to apparent injustices? If used for such purposes, would it cease to be 
documentary in character? Would you favour such use of the film by the 


1. Do you feel that the common law of the country is adequate to deal with 

anti-social Aims? 

Can such aspects as promoting class-hatreds, wounding religious suscepti- 
bilities, obscenity or incitement to break the law, be left to be dealt with by 
the common law of the country? Do you feel that in the case of films there 
should be pre-censorship which in normal times is not applied to the publi- 
cation of papers, periodicals and books, or to performances on the stage? 
What are the reasons for which you would consider films in a class by 

2. Are you satisfied with censorship as now being carried out? 

Are you acquainted with the principles now followed? Do you know of 
any defects or have you come across any criticism or censorship? What are 
the uniform standards you would suggest for the whole country? 

3. Have you found censorship adequate on religious matters? 

Are the present standards adequate? Have you come across any films 
that are likely to wound religious susceptibilities? Would you permit re- 
presentation on the screen of founders of religions? Of God? Would you 
favour the representation of Hindu gods and goddesses on the screen? 
Would you place any restriction on such presentation, say, that their presence 
on the scene should be indicated rather than shown, or that they should not 
speak, sing or take part in the action? Would you consider it sufficient if 
their behaviour as represented on the screen is not unbefitting a human being 
or would you demand a higher standard in the representation? 

4. Have you noticed any tendency to treat sacred subjects lightly? 

Do you know of any instance where the tenets of any religious group were 
ridiculed? Where beliefs deeply held are attacked? Would you consldchr It 

the duty of the censor to stop such attacks? Would you allot the cinema a 
part to play iu religious and social reform? To what extent should the 
censor interfere with attempts at such reform? 

5, Has censorship been balanced in dealing with sex? 

How is sex treated in foreign and Indian films shown in India? Is it 
correct to say that producers have generally been proper in their treatment 
of the subject? Would this apply also to their presentation of the subject 
on the screen, or would you say that there has been laxity in the depiction? 
Would you fav’^our difTerent standards of propriety for Indian and foreign 
films? Should the standards depend upon the country where the film is 
produced or on the society that is depicted? To what degree should those 
standards be modified to suit the country where the picture is shown? 
Would you say that censorship has been adequate in all films that you have 
seen? Can you mention any instances where the censor has, in your view, 
been lax? Any cases where to your knowledge, the censor has been prudish? 

C. What are your views regarding screen presentation of political themes 

of a controversial nature? ^ 

Do you think that political themes should be excluded from films? How 
would you consider such exclusion — a denial of freedom of expression — a 
safeguard against propaganda by capitalists,— -a waste of good material of 
profound human interest? Would your views apply also to themes of 
industrial controversy? 

7. How far should the censor concern himself with the code of right and 

wrong implied in a film story? 

Should he decide whether it conforms to the present law of the land? 
Should he judge by what is shown on the screen, or what he estimates to bo 
its effect on an impressionable audience? Can you mention any instance 
where you felt that a particular incident you saw on the screen should not 
have been passed for exhibition? Did you feel that crime had been glorified? 
That people with immature judgment would be impressed by the temporary 
success of a criminal act but would ignore the consequences depicted in the 
picture? Can you mention specific instances where the film did produce 
such an effect? Would you make any distinction with regard to the treat- 
ment of crime between films given “A” certificates and “U” certificates? Do 
you know of any cases where films had been banned because they presented 
unethical attitudes or were subversive in content? Did you agree with tlie 
decision of the censor in those cases? 

8. Has censorship been unduly sensitive? 

Would you say that censors have preferred to play safe and make cuts 
rather than face criticism from any body however unreasonable? Can you 
mention any instance where agitation led to the cutting or banning of. a 
picture? Would you say that the agitators in this instance represented the 
wishes of the majority of cinema-goers? Would it be possible for a small 
minority, whether holding reasonable views or the contrary, to bring 
pressure to bear upon the censors in the direction of a veto? If so, how can 
censors be safeguarded from such external influences? Would you give 
them the protection afforded to the judiciary? 

9. Does the material used for publicity offend against morals? 

Have you come across any cases where advertisements, posters, still 
pictures released to film magazines or exhibited in tlieatre-lobbies. thrown 
aways, band-bills, etc., were open to objection? Was your objection td parti- 
cular scenes or words actually used in the picture, to what never found 

place in the picture or had been cut out of it, or to lurid or suggestive wording 
or illustrations in the advertisement? Would you say that in printed form 
the same scene or words would be more, or less, objectionable than on fhi 
si'reen? Would you suggest that all publicity material connected with a film 
should also be submitted to the censors for approval? Would you place 
such restrictions also on “glamour” publicity photographs of actors and 
actresses, released for printing in film journals but having no reference to 
any particular film? 

40. Should Indian films be scrutinised before export? 

Is there any danger of misrepresentation of Indian life and culture which 
necessitates scrutiny of films produced in India before they are exported? 
Can you mention any film that you have seen which if shown abroad would 
create a false impression? Which are the particular aspects of that picture 
which you consider unsuitable in a film to be exported? If films .are to be 
scrutinised from this point of view, should the scrutiny cover feature-films 
only or should it cover documentaries and news-reels also? Would this not 
amount to the imposition of censorship on news-reporting? Should any 
restrictions be applied to film shot by foreign producers in this country for 
use in their own features or news-reels? 


1. Do you consider the cultural standard of the film satisfactory? 

Can the standard be judged absolutely or only in relation to the audience? 
Would you say that Indian films show up well in comparison with foreign 

2. Is the Cinema the art-medium for the culturally under-privileged? 

Does it serve primarily those with a background of culture or those with- 
out such a background? What are the cultural media available to the 
average wage-earner? Is he always literate? To what extent should the 
cinema adapt itself to the standards of its patrons? To what extent can it 
■effect 1 change in those standards? 

3. By what means can the standards be raised above the present level? 
What are ike methods by which we raise the standards of other forms of 

t?reative art and to what extent would they be applicable to the film? What 
means would you suggest for, making standard works of criticism and copies 
of classical films accessible to the public— opening of a large number of 
Film Clubs' and Societies all over the country to which books and films could 
be lent— lectures in public halls accompanied by film demonstrations—' 
bolding of film Festivals where outstanding productions from all over the 
world are shown and discussed? Would the annual award of prizes for out- 
standing production and those who helped to make it, result in raising the 
Btandard? Which is the body that could undertake such tasks? Would you 
recommend the formation of a Film Academy for the purpose? If so would 
you suggest its being* financed and managed by the industry, financed by the 
Industry but managed by a board of public men as governors, or financed 
and managed by Government? 

4. How can the creative producer with ideas be encouraged? 

How can the capital necessary for the production of a film be made 
available to such producers? Should the State embark on the production of 
features and invite ideas? Would such a venture be a legitimate charge on 
the revenues of the country? What effect would it have on the industry? 


5. Does the standard of foreign films have any effect on Indian standards 
of production? 

Would you say that people who see foreign films regularly demand higher 
standards in Indian production? Does this factor have any infiuence on 
production? If not, is it because foreign films are seen only by a minority 
of the patrons of Indian productions? If it is necessary to acquaint the 
bulk of cinema-goers with the standards that have been achieved by foreign 
producers, would you consider that such films, “dubbed” with dialogue in 
Indian languages would achieve the purpose? Leaving aside technical and 
aesthetic standards, would you say that there are wide differences in ethical 
and moral standards between Indian fils and foreign films? If so, which 
standards would you consider higher? How far would you consider these 
films standards typical of the ethics and morals of India and, say, the U.S.A.? 
To what extent and in what direction would you say that changes in film 
standards are necessary in either case? 


1. Can the use of the film in schools be extended? 

In how many schools that you know of are films used for school instruc- 
tion? What are the difficulties in the way of greater use? Are films freely 
available for renting? Should Government run film lending libraries? Are 
sound films more effective than silent films which the teacher explains? Can 
projectors be had easily for hire or purchase at reasonable cost? Would 
the lower cost of projectors for silent films help in widening the use of 

2. To what extent is the film used in technical and handicraft schools? 

Are suitable films available in India? Have they helped teachers subr- 
stantially? Should films be prepared specially about Indian handicrafts? 

3 In what directions can the film be used in the field of adult instruction 
in rural areas? 

Which are the subjects that you consider _ suitable for being taught by 
means of the film? Have you had experience in the use of films dealing with 
such subjects? Would you suggest the use of sound films or silent films? 
in the areas with which you are acquainted, would you say that the regional 
language in its standard form is sufficiently well understood in rural areas 
that explanations in the local dialect are unnecessary? 

4. What are the possibiliUes of adult education through the film? 

Apart from instruction in practical matters, would you say that the film 
has an application in educating adults? If so, do you think a distinction 
should be made between films for those who can read with facility and for 
those who cannot? Have you seen any of the factual films produced by the 
Government of India? Would you say that they meet the needs of those 
who can read? Of those who cannot read? Do you think that education 
foi citizenship can be helped by the film? 

5. In what other directloiis can the film be used for social purposes? 

Do you think it can help in the implementation of prohibition plans? 
Can it provide the necessary diversion after the day’s work, or escape from 
the day’s worries? Do you think the provision of cinemas in rural areas 
would lessen the monotony of rural life and slow down the drift to the 

7 M of IB— 18 


towns? Do you think the cultural void created by the extinction of rural 
ballad-singers, story-tellers, and theatrical troupes can be filled to any extent 
by the cinema? If so, what are your suggestions for the production of suit- 
able films and for their exhibition in rural areas? 

6 . How can such films with a social purpose reach people for whom they 
are intended? 

Are the existing cinemas sufficient in number in the area with which you 
are acquainted to enable the bulk of the adult population to see the films 
prepared for their benefit? Should instructional and educational pictures be 
sent round for exhibition in rural areas from mobile projectors? How can 
such schemes for extended use of the film be financed? To what extent can 
local bodies, panchayats, etc., help? To what extent can the costs be recovered 
directly from the public? 


List of Associations and Individuals who sent written memoranda In reply 
to Part I of the Committee’s Questionnaire dealing with the film Industry 

Manufacturers and Importers of Equipment 

1. Agarwal, S. N. Cinefones, Bombay. 

2. Bakshi, B. D., Secretary, Cinematographic Importers Association, 

. Bombay. 

3. Chatterjee, Bamadas, Cystophone Laboratories Ltd.. Calcutta. 

4. Chatterjee, P, C., Director, The Indian Photo Plate, Paper and Film 

Mfg. Co., Ltd., Calcutta. 

5. Devi Films Limited, Madras. 

6. Goenka, P. D., Cine Mechanical Works, Calcutta. 

7. International Talkie Equipment Co., Ltd., Bombay. 

8. Jagjit Singh, Cinefones (Delhi) Ltd., Chandni Chowk, Delhi. • 

9. Jacob, A., Ritz Hotel, Cape Town, through Mr. Y. A. Fazalbhoy, 

General Radio and Appliances Ltd., Bombay. 

10. Kodak Ltd., Bombay. 

Studios and Laboratory Owners 

1. Bengal Film Laboratories Ltd., Calcutta. 

2. Famous Cine Laboratory and Studios Ltd., Bombay. 

3. Lakhani, R. S., Eastern Studios, Bombay. 

4. Shree Sound Studios, Bombay. 

5. Shirdi Studios, Madras. 

Producers of Short Films and Educational Pictures 

1. Gostay Ram, L., Kitab Mahal, 190 Hornby Road, Bombay. 

2. Krishnamurti, S., General Manager, Projection of Indian Pictures^ 


3. Vittal M. R., Producer of Educational Short Films, Madras. 

Technicians and Employees 

L Aggarwal, B. K., (Address illegible). 

2. Bibhuti Das, 22, Peshkar Lane, Salkia, Howrah. 

3. Banku Roy, Cameraman, Aurora Studio, Calcutta. 

4. Basu, S., Nirmal Sen, R. Ghatak and T. Sen, Technicians, 202/5, Haris 

Mukherji Road, Calcutta. 

5. Chelliah, A. P., Art Director, Pakshi Raja Studios, Coimbatore. 

6. Chief Electrician of Gemini Studios, Madras. (Name illegible). 

7. Chaudri, R. K, Roy, Assistant Director, Vanguard Productions, Calcutta. 

8. Chatterjee, G. Sil, M., and Ajit K. Sen, A.R.P.S, 

9. Chengiah V., Sobanachala Studios, Madras. 

10. Ghose K. P., Film Director 71/B. Grey Street, Calcutta. 

11. Gupta, Ramananda Sen, Calcutta. 

12. Kumar, Cine Director, Eastern Art Productions, Lakshmivarpet, 


13. Kumaradevan, V., Cinematographer, Newtone Studios, Madras. 10. 

14. Kandaswamy, N., Guruswamy Palayam P.O., Rasipuram Tq., Salem 

District, Madras. 

15. Krishnaswamy, N., 39-Eldams Road, Madras. 

16. Lahiri, B. M., United Film Exchange, Calcutta. 

17. Lingamurthy, M., Film Director and Artiste, Madras. 

18. Lawrence, S., Newsreel Cameraman, U.M.C.A! Hostel, Royapettah, 

19. Nanubhai Dave, C/o Kardar Productions. Bombay. 

20. Narayana, P. R., M.A., Pla 3 nvright and Cine Director, Madras. 

21. Pankaj Mallick, Calcutta. 

22. Prasad, Cine Director, 91/2, Eldamas Road, Madras-18. 

23. Ramaswamy S., C/o Post Box No. 1014, Kilpauk, Madras. 

24. Rao, T. S. Prakasha, Assistant Director, Vauhini Studios, Madras. 

25. Sil, Joydeb, C/o New Theatres, Calcutta. 

26. Sharar, Dewan, 16, Shanti Kuteer, Carine Drive, Bombay. 

27. Sabnavis, Rajanikant, Asstt. Director, Vauhini Studios, Madras. 

28. Secretary, The Tamil Nadu Cinema Studio Employees Union, Madrii. 

29. Tata, B. M., Lovji Castle, Bombay-12. 

30. Yoganand, D., Associate Director, 3, Crescent Park Street, Madras. 


1. Aurora Film Corporation, Ltd., Calcutta. 

2. Babu Rao K. Pai. 

3. Chuni Lai, Chairman and Managing Director Filmistan, Ltd., Bombay. 

4. Evergreen Pictures, Bombay. 

5. Famous Pictures Ltd., Bombay. 

6. Gemini Studios, Madras. 

7. Kardar Productions, Bombay. 

8. Mohan Pictures, Bombay. 

9. New Theatres Ltd., Calcutta. 

10. Pakshiraja Studios, Coimbatore. 

11. Rajkamal Kalamandir, Ltd,, Bombay. 

12. Ramiah, A-v Managing Director, Star Combines Ltd., Studios, Kodam- 

bakham, Madras. 


1. All India Pictures, Madras, 

2. Associated Distributors Ltd., Calcutta. 

3. Azad Film Distributors, Patna. 

4. Asoka Pictures, Film Distributors, Salem. 

5. Basant Film Distributors, Bombay. 

6. Bharat Film Coy. Distributors, Bombay. 

7. Bilimoria M. B., & Son, Bombay. 

8. Calcutta Film 'l^change, Madras. 

9. Chitra Prakash Film Exchange, Bhusaval. 

10. Dalai, M. N., Vithalbhai Patel Road, Bombay^. 

11. Excelsior Film Exchange, Bombayr4. 


12u Fulchand, C., Commission Agent, Financier and Film Distributors, 

13. Famous Pictures Ltd., Bombay-7. 

14. Famous Pictures, Bangalore City. 

15. Ganesh Pictures, Howrah. 

16. Goodwin Pictures Corporation. Bangalore. 

17. The Hyderabad State Film Chamber of Commerce, Secunderabad Dn. 

18. Hollywood Pictures (India) Ltd., Calcutta. 

19. India United Pictures Ltd., Calcutta. 

&U. Jamuna Pictures, Arkonam (N. A. Distt.), Madras. 

21. Jayant Film Distributors, Rajkot. 

22. Kanak Distributors. Calcutta. 

23. Kinema Exchange Ltd., Calcutta. 

24. Kodkani G. B., Manager, Silver Screen Exchange, Ltd., Bhusaval. 

25. Mansata Film Distributors, Calcutta. 

26. Mohan Movie Renters, Bhusaval. 

27. Nandi Pictures Circuit, Bangalore-2. 

28. Narayan Pictures, Calcutta. 

29. Oriental Film Corporation Ltd., Patna. 

30. Paul Bros. Film Distributors, Poona-5. 

31. Prima Films (1938) Ltd., Calcutta. 

32. Quality Films Calcutta-13. 

33. Rao, H. N. S., Famous Pictures, Bhusaval. 

34. Rose Pictures, Bombay-4. 

35. Ruby Pictures Ltd., Indore. 

36. The Secunderabad Pictures Circuit Filmaghar, Secunderabad (Dn.) 

37. Wadia Paramount Pictures, Delhi. 


1. Angel Talkies, Narasaraopet (Guntur Distt.). 

2. Alochaya Cinema, Calcutta. 

3. All India Theatres Syndicate Ltd., Regal Talkies, Ahmedabad. 

4. Alaka Talkies, Poona-2. 

6. Aurora Kinema. Dibrugarh, Assam. 

6. Aswadhanarayana, T., Prop. Shri Rama Talkies, Vijayawada (Madras). 

7. fiasusree Cinema, Calcutta. 

8. Burhanuddin, Md. Proprietor, The Victoria Touring Talkies, Nellore. 

9. Bhagvat Chitra, Chhaya & Kala Mandirs, Sholapur. 

10. Capital Talkies, Cuttack. 

11. Das, A. M., B.E.C.E., Late Chief Engineer Nepal Government P.W.D., 

Proprietor, Rang Mahal Talkies. P.O. Mahoha, Distt. Hamirpur 

12. The Empire Talkies, Pathankot. 

13. Globe Theatres, Ranikhet (U.P.). 

14. Garrison Talkies, Deolali. 

15. Tntally Talkies, Calcutta. 

16. Irani, Eruch, R., Victory Court, Queens Road, Bombay-2. 

17. Jayaraman P. S., C/o Variety Hall Talkies, Coimbatore. 

18. Jain and Co., C/o Jawahar Talkies, Muland (Bombay). 

19. Jai Hind Cinema & Touring Talkies, Pithonagarh, Distt. Almora (U.Pa^. 

20. Jhavery D. J., Krishna Talkies, Kalyan. 

21. Kumar Picture House, Bihar Sharif (Bihar). 

22. Kamal Cinema, Ujjain. 

23. Krishna Talkies, Jodhpur. 


24. Krishna Talikies, Najibabad (U.P.) 

25. Kulkami. G. P., 71, Nave Peth, Sholapur. 

26. Kamal Chitra Bhawan, Burhampur M.P. (G.l.P.) 

27. Kulkamee P. A., Prabhakar Talkies, Dhulia (W.K.) 

28. Kurup, K. M., Lakshmi Talkies, Muvatupuzha (Kerala Union>. 

29. Laxmi Talkies, Salem Junction (S. India). 

30. Laxmi Talkies, Nasirabad (Hajputana). 

31. Mahalaxmi Picture Palace, Agra. 

32. Moti Talkies, Delhi. 

33. Nalin, Mazumdar, 131, AUenganj, Allahabad. 

34. New Tower Talkies, Tanjore (Madras). 

35. N.V.G.B. Talkies, Dindigul (Madras). 

36. New Super Cinema and Moti Talkies, Station Road. Surat 

37. Parimal Talkies, Ahmedabad. 

’IS. Prabhat Talkies, Itawah (U.P.) 

39. Prabhat Talkies, Barvaha, (C.I.) 

40. Prabhat Talkies, Sholapur. 

41. Palace Theatre, Allahabad. 

42. Palace Talkies, Bhavnagar. 

43 Robindra Kumar Baruah, Rangghar Cine Company. P.O. Rehabar. 
Dibrugarh (Assam). 

44. Rupbani, Beawar. 

45. Sidhwa, F. H., Managing Director, Globe Theatres, Ltd.. Bombay. 

46. Sambhu Singh, 69, Harrison Road. Calcutta. 

47. Surya Cinem.n, North Lakhimpiir, Assam. 

48. Shree Krishna Chalantika Begusrai (O. & T. Railway). 

49. Saran Touring Talkies, Moradabad (U.P.) 

50. Sudarshan Chitra, Bhusaval. (M.P.) 

51. Shanti Talkies, P.O. Ramgarh, Distt. Hazaribagh (Bihar). 

52. The South Indian Film Chamber of ComnaercG, Madras. 

53. The Screen Corporation (1.038) Ltd., Calcutta. 

54. Viswanathan, K., Exhibitor, Chitra Talkies, Madras. 

55. Vi jay Talkies, Vyara, (T. V. Rly.) 

56. Western Talkies, Rampurhat, Birbhiim, Calcutta. 


1. Bengal Motion Picture Association, Calcutta. 

2. Bhusaval Films Distributors Association, Bhusaval. 

3. The Cinematograph Exhibitors Association of Inditi, Bombay. 

4. The Cine Technicians’ Association of S; India; Madras. 

5. The Film Fans Association, Madras. 

6. The Film Goers Association. Madras. ■ 

■ 7. Indian Motion Picture Distributors’ Association, Bombay. 

8. The Indian Motion Picture Producers^ Associatfon, Bombay. 

9. Kinema Employees’ Association, Calcutta. 

10. Motion Pictures Association, Delhi. 

11. Menon, I. K., Secretary, I.M.P.P.A., Bombajr. ^ 

12. The Mysore Film Chamber of Commerce, Bangalore. 

13. President of the Cine Technicians Association 6f Bengal, Calcutta. 

14. Ramanujam, D., Secretary. Touring Cinema Owners’ Association, 


15. Student Cine-Goers Association, Bombay. 

16. Society for the Protection of Film Industry in Bengal, Calcutta. 

17. The South Indian Cinema Employees’ "Assodatien, Madras. 

18. The South Indian Film Chamber of CoMm^c^, •M^dras-2. 


29. Verma, Dhenendra, D, Litt., Secretary Hindustan Academy U. P. 

20. The United Provinces Amateur Photographic Association, Lucknow. 

21. U.P. Cinema Exhibitors Association, Lucknow. 

22. Vaidya, G. B., Secretary, the Central Circuit Cine Conference* 


Free Lance Producers 

1. Allied Art Productions Ltd., Bombay. 

2. Asian Stars Ltd., Bombay. 

3. Bhagwan Productions & Film Distributors, Bombay. 

4. Bibha Film Productions, Calcutta. 

5. Bindhachal Production Ltd., Calcutta. 

6. Bosart Productions, Ltd., Calcutta. 

7. Desai, C. D., Bombay. 

8. Desha Pictures, Calcutta. 

9. D. R. D. Productions Ltd., Bombay. 

10. Film Land Limited, Eastern Studios, Bombay. 

11. Film Trust of India, Calcutta. 

12. Gajpati Pictures, Calcutta. 

13. Hemmad, S. R., 8/1 Rainey Park. Calcutta. 

14. Hindustan Chitra, Bombay. 

If). Irani. Eruch R.. Victory Court, Queens Road, Bombay 

16. Jay Hind Chitra, Bombay. 

17. Jagannalhan, C. S., Prop. Leo Films, Madras. 

18. Kalpa Rupayani Ltd., Calcutta. 

19. K. K. Productions Ltd., Calcutta. 

20. Lion Pictures, Bombay. * 

21. Lilamanee Pictures Ltd., Calcutta. 

22. Modern Theatres Ltd., Madras.* 

23. Mangal Pictures, Poona, 

24. Model Pictures Lid., Bombay. 

25. Motimahal Theatres Ltd., Calcutta. 

26. Mercury Productions, Bombay. 

27. Mehboob Productions Ltd., Bombay. 

28. Mercury Films, Madras. 

29. Navin Yagnik of Kashmir Films, Bombay. 

30. Nagoor F., Film Producer & Director, Madras. 

31. Nagabhushanam K. B., 20, Sir Mr. Usman Road, Madras. 

32. Omar Khaiyam Films Ltd., Bombay. 

33. Pratibha Productions Madras. 

34. Prakash Pictures, Bombay. 

35. The Poorna Pictures, Madras. 

36. Pradeep Pictures, Bombay. 

37. Prem Adib Pictures, Bombay. 

38. Paro Art Concern, Bombay. 

39. Padmanabhan, R., No. 9, Stringers St. P. T. Madras. 

40. Pathy Pictures, Madras. 

41. Ramdas B. Y., Shantiram Productions, (Place not traceable). 

42. Rao, Harish Chandra, Kathok Lodge, Dadar, Bombay. 

43. Rainbow Film Exchange, Coimbatore, 

44. Ramanandam, B. V., Rajahmundry. 

45. Ramaeshwar Hanuman Pictures, Coimbatore. 

46. Rangasree Kathachitr?. Ltd., Calcutta. 

47. Riten Se Co., Calcutta. 

48. Sri Jagdish Films Ltd,, MadfiS, 


T. K. Productions, Madras. 

49. Sisir Mallik, 5, Alipore Avenue, Calcutta. 

50. Sachi, C. K., Madras. 

51. Subrahmanyam, K., The Madras United Artists Corporation, Madras. 

52. Super Pictures, Bombay. 

53. Sadiq Productions, Bombay. 

54. Sukumar Pictures Ltd., Madras. 

55. Sukumar Pictures Ltd., Madras. 

56. Veerendra Chitra Jyoti Studio, Bombay. 

57. Wadia, J. B. H., Bombay. 

P art 1 Public 

1. Bhargava, Jagdish Prasad, 25, Drumond Road, Agra. 

2. Bose, Rampati, 172/35, Lower Circular Road, Calcutta-14. 

3. Dave, A. D., 3rd floor Chikhal House, Kalbadevi Road, Bombay. 

4. Mallik, Umesh, London. 

•5. Rao, Madhava, The Cine Technicians Association of South India, Madras. 

6. Rao, D. Suryaprakasa, Andhra Insurance Bldg., 5, Lingichetty Street, 


% List of Individuals who replied to Part II of the Committee’s Questionnaire 

<<The Film and the Public*’ 


1. Abbas, Khawja Ahmed, Bombay. 

2. Ganesan, N., Columnist, “Film Review” (Calcutta), Trichinapoly. 

3. Ghosh, Nirmal Kumar, Cinema Editor, Amrit Bazar Patrika, Calcutta. 

4. Krishnamurthy, R., Editor, *Kalki*, Madras. 

5. Lahiri, Nirmal Kumar, The Searchlight, Patna. 

6. Merchant, Ajit B., Film Editor, The Sunday Standard, Bombay. 

7. Mukerji, Amar, author and film critic, Allahabad. 

8. Malaviya, S, N., The Leader, Allahabad. 

10. Narayanan K. P, Editor, Nagpur Times, Nagpur. 

11. Narayan, R. K., 963, Lakshmipuram, Mysore. 

12. Ramnath, T. V., Pesum Padam, Madras. 

13. Rao, S. V. Jagannatha, Journalist & Cine-critic Sree Nivas, Berhampur. 

14. Rao, C. V. H., Editor, Indian Republic, Madras. 

15. Ramawsami, V. (Vara), Madras. 

16. Srinivas, N., M.A. Editor, Picture-post, Madras. 

17. Soundaraj, G., Film critic, Mysindia, South Parade, Bangalore. 

18. Uppal, Bulbir Singh, Managing Editor, The Engineers’ Association 

(India), Lucknow. 


1. Guha, Arun Chandra. M.P. 

2. Jaipal Singh, M.P., Imperial Hotel, New Delhi. 

3. Krishnamachari, V. T., Jaipur House, New Delhi. 

4. Kunhlraman, P. Tellicherry, Madras. 

5. Naik, V. N., M.L.A. Phaodelane. Nasik City. 

6. Patel, Lallubhai Makanji, M,L.A., P.O. Matward, Via Jalalpore, Distt., 


7. Ramshanker Lai, M.L.A., Basti. 

8. Sahu, Lakshminarayan, M.L.A., Cuttack. 

9. Sarkar, NJEt. 

10. Venkataratnem B., M.LA., Eamachandrapuram (East Godavari). 

Officials and Censors 

1. Aggarwal, Chandra Bhan, Justice, High Court, Allahabad. 

2. Aga, Madaii Mohan, All India Radio, Allahabad. 

3. Bajpayee, A. P., Director of Medical & Health Service, Utter Pradesh^ 


4. Bhavnani, M., Chief Producer Documentaries, Films Division, Ministry 

of information and Broadcasting, Bombay. 

5. Bhagwat, L. G., Programme Executive, All India Radio, Baroda. 

6. Chatterje, S., Programme Executive, All Ipdia Radio, Cuttack. 

7. Desai, Morarji, Home Minister, Bombay. 

8. Gupta, R., I.C.S., Secretary to the Government of West Bengal, Home 

Department, Calcutta. 

9. Gupta, U.S., Entertainment & Betting Tax Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh. 


10. Industrial Adviser on Leather & Tanning to the Government of West 

Bengal, Calcutta. 

11. Jalan, Iswar Das, Speaker, West Bengal Legislative Assembly, Calcutta. 

12. Mukherjee, A. N., Superintendent, Mental Hospital, Baroda. 

13. Mukherjee, P. K., All India Radio, JuUundur. 

14. Mazumdar, S. Dutt, District Magistrate, Hooghly. 

15. Patro, A. V., I.P., Commissioner of Police, Egmore, Madras. 

16. Ranjit Singh, Tehsildar, Mahoba, U.P. 

17. Romesh Chander, Assistant Station Director, All India Radio, 


18. Ramkrishniah, Muddu, As.sistant Station Director, All India Radio, 


19. Rao, Y. Satyanarayana, Programme Executive, All India Radio, Cuttack. 

20. Shroff, V. S., Secretary, Bombay Board of Film Censors, Bombay. 

21. Shrirnati Sachdev, M. R., Member, Punjab Board of Film Censors. 

22. Sinha, G., Director of Public Instructions, Bihar. 

23. Saiyidain, K, G., Educational Adviser to Bombay Government, Bombay. 

24. Sen, S. K., Programme Assistant, All India Radio, Lucknow. 

25. Sharma, V. N., Senior Inspector E. & B. Tax, Lucknow. 

26. Taimuri M. H. R., Film Censor (Director of Archaeology and Central 

Record Office), Bhopal. 

27. Varadappan, Sarojini, Madras. 

28. Vamshi. Yadu, All India Radio, Patna. 

29. Zibbu, S. K., Officer on Special Duty in the Education Department^ 

Government of United States of Rajasthan, Jaipur. 


1. Athalye, G. K., Inspector for Visual Education, Bombay. 

2. Abraham, C. E., Serampore College, Serampore, West Bengal. 

3. Abdin, M. Z., Department of Experimental Psychology, Patna College, 


4. Aiyengar, C; Ranganatha, General Secretary, South. India Teachers^ 

Union, Triplicane, Madras. 

5. Arunajatari, V., Secretary, South India Teachers' Union, Madras. 

6. Bahl, K. N., Department of Zoology, The University, Lucknow. 

7. Baliga, B. Anantha, Assistant, Kanara High School, Mangalore. 

8. Biswas, K., Superintendent, Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. 

9. Banerjee, Prof. K., Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, 


10. Bhuvarahan, R., Town Secreary, The Tiruchirapalli, District Teachers' 

Guild, Tiruchy. 


11. Bhatt. H. C., Jhalarwa], Nadiyad. 

12. Bhattacharya, S., C/o Major G. L. Bhattacharya, I, Signals, Staff 

College, Wellington, Nilgiris. 

13. Baini Prashad, Fisheries Development Adviser to the Government ot 

India, New Delhi. 

14. Brahmachari, S., Training College, Jabbalpur. 

15. Chaturvedi, Sita Ram, Principal, S. C. College, Ballia. 

16. Chatter jee, C., Government Engineering School, Nagpur. 

17. Dayal Avadesh, Assistant Master J.L.M.D.J., Hisar Secretary School^ 

Khairabad, Sitapur. 

18. Editor, Indian Photography and Cinematography, Bangalore city. 

19. Gupta, Bhaiyaji, Political Science Department, Lucknow University; 


20. Gangoly, O. C., 2, Ashutosh Mukkerji Road, Elgin Road Post Office^ 

Calcutta. \ 

21. Gawde, G. G., Hony. Secretary, Maratha Mandir Ltd., Bombay. 

22. Gandhi, C. T., College Visnagar, Via Mesana, N. Gujrat. 

23. Haikerwal, B. S., Deputy Director of Education, Fifth Region, Lucknow. 

24. Hony. Secretary, The Association of Indian Culture, Kalighat,^ 


25. Headmaster-in-charge, Municipal High School, Mayuram. 

26. Jetali, Ganesh Krishna, Akbarpur, Faizabad. . 

27. Jagannathan, S., Teacher’s College, Saidapet. 

28. Khandvala, Shrimati Kapila, M.A.B.T. 

29. Kaji, Prof. Hiralal, Ridge Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay. 

30. Keskar, Y. D., Principal, Sir K. P. College of Commerce, Surat. 

31. The Kurnool Dt. Teachers Guild, Bastian Road, Kurnool. 

32. Kini, U. Srinivasa, Kanara High School, Mangalore (S. Kanara). 

33. Krishnamurthy, Joint Secretary, South India Teachers’ Pnion. Teppa- 

kalam, Tiruchinapoli. 

34. Loomba, Ram Murti, Lucknow University, Lucknow. 

35. Mukerjee, B., Director, Central Drugs Laboratory, Calcutta-12. 

36. Mukerjee, H. M., Principal, Katwa College, Katwa, Burdwan. 

37. Mullick, L. P„ (Address not known). 

38. Majumdar, S. K., Principal, Darjeeling Government College, Darjeeling. 

39. Marathe, K. G,, "Shree Bhushan”, 18A Ganesh Peth Lane, Dadar, 


'0. Meeran, S. K. Ahmed. Advocate. 17, Vijayaraghavachari Road, 
Thyagaroyanagar, Madras. 

41. Mahalinagasastri, Y., Principal, Oriental College, Mayuram. 

42. Principal, Central Calcutta College, Calcutta. 

43. Principal, Scottish Universities Mission Institution, Kalimpong. 

44. Principal, T.N.I. College, Bhagalpur. 

45. Patel, V. T., The New Era School, Bombay. 

46. Pmcipal, Hargovandas Lakhmichand College of Commerce, Ahmedabad. 

47. Principal, S.V.J.V, Sanskrit College, Kovvur, West Godavari, (South 


48. Pillai, P. Govindasamy, Board High School, Pennadam. 

49. Pillai, K. P. Padmanabha, Retired Law College Principal and Ex-Dean 

Facutly of Law, University of Travancore, Trivandrum. 

50. Parameswaran, E. H., Headmaster, Tirthapati High School, 


51. Principal, St. Philomena’s College, Mysore. 

52. Rustomjee, Miss Amy B. H. J., Principal, Secondary Training College 3. 

Cruickshank Road, Bombay. 


53. Ratnam, Shrimati V. Maria, Asstt. St., Mary's High School, Madras. 

54. Raghunathachari, N. R., Lecturer, The Maharajah’s College, Viziama- 


55. Sundaramoorthy, S., Board High School, Polur, N.A. Dt., South India. 

56. Srinivasachari, G., P. S. High School, Mylapore, Madras. 

57. Sahai, Satya, Professor of Economics, Arts College, Bilaspur. 

•58. Thambusami, Rev. D., Principal, The Kellett High School, Triplicane, 

59. Vyas, M. T., Principal, The New Era School, Bombay-7. 

60. Visveswaran, H., Secretary, The Thirunelveli District Teacher’s Guild, 


61. Venkata Narayana, V. S., St. Peter’s High School Nellore. 

62. Vyawahare, M. L. Tre«isurer, Vidarbha Sahitya Sangh, Amraoti. 

Cultural Workers (Writers, Scientists etc.) 

1. Gujrale, R. V., Worker-in-charge, Seva Ashram, Srirampuram, 


2. Seshagiri, G. K., Vice President Nataka Kazhagam, Madras. 

3. Tyabji, Mrs. K. S., 2, Comar Park, Warden Road, Bombay. 


1. Anwar, U. K. Md. Madras. 

2. Apte, G. C., Goregaon, Bombay. 

3. Ail Karnataka Children’s Association, Bangalore City. 

4. Abdul Qadir, A. Y., Madras. 

5. Allahabad Culture Centre. 

6. The Agra Citizen’s Association, Agra. 

7. Bangiya Mahishya Samiti, Calcutta. 

8. Bhandari, Amrit Dau S., Faina, B.B. & C.l. Rly. 

9. Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta. 

10. Bibhuti Das, 22, Peshkar Lane, Salkia, Howrah. 

11. Bothra, G. C., Calcutta. 

12. Bose, Dr. Bejoyketu, Calcutta. 

13. Bird & Co., Calcutta. 

14. Bhaya, Prem G., Poona. 

15. Clarke, C. E., Calcutta, 

16. Calcutta Film Sociey, Calcutta. 

17. Chandulal Mehta & Co., Ltd., Bombay. 

18. Director, the Bengal Co-operative Film Society Ltd., Calcutta. 

19. Dahyabhai, Thakkar Kantilal and Bulsar. 

20. Dayal, Babiben Moolji, Bombay. 

‘21. Dalai, Ramaniklal J., Ahmedabad. 

22. Dutt, Comelatta, Allahabad. 

23. De, Nagendranath, Calcutta. 

24. Gandhi, Hira Lai, Rajpipla. 

25. Gupta, Indu Das, Calcutta. 

26. Guha, B. C., Damodar Valley Corporation, Calcutta. 

'27. Gokuldas D. Master, Bombay. 

28. Harlsadhan Dutt, 4, Guruprasad Chowdhry Lane, Calcutta. 

29. Hemrajani, Krishan J., Rashid Mansions, Worli Point, Bombay. 

:30. Hiramanek Pesi Tehmurasp, Mistry Building, Wadia Street Tardio, 



-31. Jethmalani, Udhavdas R., Kalyan, Bombay. 

32. Jhaveri, Krishanlal M., Bombay. 

33. Jambunathan, M. R., Kkar, Bombay. 

-34. John India, Bombay. 

35. Jayavelu, T. N., Madras. 

36. ' Kalabimanigal Kazhagam, Madhurai. 

37. Kolya, Ismail I., Billimora. 

38. Krishnamurthy, T. V., Madras. 

.39. Kunzru, Dina Nath, Agra. 

40. Kulkarni, Prabhukar A. Sathe Bangala, Hawetvana Road, Nadiayad. 

41. Lai, Guru D., 4, Kabir Marg., Lucknow. 

42. Marwari Relief Society, Calcutta. 

Maganlal, Upadhya Promad Kumar.. Jalayakakari, Sheri, Patala. 

44. Makani, B. S., Mehrauli, Delhi. 

45. Merchants Committee, Calcutta. 

46. Murari Lai, Agra. 

47. Nandelni, Asvani, Nagpur. 

48. Poplai, M. L., 4, Racquet Road, Delhi. 

49. The Poona Seva Sadan Society, Poona. 

50. Panday, F. R., Ferry Manor, Gunbow Street, Bombay. 

51. Pai Baburao K., Bombay. 

52. Panna Shah, Warden Road, Bombay. 

53. Patel, Bhankumar D., Karmal Nadiad, Bombay. 

54. Prahald, Chamanlal, Hyderabad, Dn. 

55. Pi]lai, Mahalingam, Tanjore. 

56. Pipalwa, C. L., Nagpur. 

57. Pandhananda (Address not available). 

58. Rao, S. Padmanabha, Station Master, Vennur. Guntur Dt. 

59. Ramani, S. V., Pudukkottah. 

50. Ramanathan, T. N., Madras. 

51. Ramanathan, V., Madras. 

62. Rao, D. Suryaprakasa. Madras. 

53. Ramaswami, D. V., Maharanipeta. 

54. Rao, Pasala Suryachandra, Tadepalligudam, West Godavari. 

55. Rao, E. V. Subba, Jagdalpur. 

'56. Rajkamal, Allahabad. 

57. Rao, V. V. S. R. Hanumantha, Poona. 

68. Single, L. D., Bombay. 

69. Spectator, Ahmedabad. 

70. Satakopan, E. N. “alias” Udayakumar, Madras. 

71. Srinivasan, L., Madras. 

72. Seshagiri, G. K., Madras. 

73. Srinivasan, P. L., Madnis: : " 

74. Sitram, V., Madras. 

75. Sundaram, S. R. Meenakshi, kylapore, Madras. 

76. Singh, Rajeshwar Prasad, Allahabad. 

77. Taunton, Sir Ivon, Bombay. 

‘78* Taleyarkhan, P. J., Surat. 

79. Vachha, Nariman B. & Co., Bombay. 

80. Varma Shree Kant, Bilaspur. 

81. West Bengal Students* Association, Calcutta, 

82. Warerkar, Mama, Bombay. 

83. Yadava, B. P., Calcutta. 

84. Eutshi, Dina Nath. U.S. Club, Simla. 



L Assam Moviesthan, Shillong (Assam). 

2. Aggarwal, B. K., Shivaji Park, Bombay-28, 

3. Chakravarti, Durga Prasad, Lilamanee Pictures, Ltd., Calcutta. 

4. Desai, C. D., 136, Girgaum Road, Bombay-4. 

5. Doraiswamy, P., Fezalbhoy House, Marine Lines, Bombay. 

6. Framji, E. C., Laxmi Talkies, Nasirabad (Rajputana). 

7. Gogtay, Ram L., Kitab Mahal, 190. Hornby Road, Bombay-1. 

8. Jasani, H. D., Rose Pictures, Tinwala Building, Tribhnar Road, Bombay «4i 

9. Kochar, Malik Chand, Indian National Pictures, Bombay. 

10. Kurup, K. M., Lakshmi Talkies, Travancore. 

11. Kazi, Ahmed Hussain, Bombay Representative for Azad Hind Talkies, . 

Rajapur (Ratnagiri), Bombay. 

12. Naidu, A. S., C/o Chamria Talkie Distributors. No. 3237, Kingsway,. 

Secunderabad (Dn.). 

13. Roy, B., Hollywood Pictures (India) Ltd., Calcutta. 

14. Ramniklal Mohan Lai & Co., Motion Picture Distributors. Bombay. 

15. Rao, R. Nagendra, Film Producer & Director. 40 Sullivan’s Garden; 

Road Madras-4. 

16. Jayaraman, P. S. 7/18, Malaviya Street, Brahmin Extension, 


17. Rama.swamy, S. K., Manager, Dreamland Pictures Corporation, 


18. Sabnavis, Rajanikant, Asst. Director, Vauhini Studio.s, Madras. 

19. The Secretary, The Tamil Nadu Cinema & Studio Employees Union,. 

No. 6, Flowers Road, Vepery, Madras. 


List of witnesses who gave evidence 
Alfahabad 23rd & 24th April, 1950 
23rd April 1950 

1. Shri S. C. Deb of Allah, abad University. 

2. Shri R. N. Deb, Allahabad University. 

3. Shri Raghupati Sahay, English Department, Allahabad University. 

4. Dr. Ramkumar Varma, Hindi Department, Allahabad University. 

5. Dr. R. P, Bahadur, Allahabad University. 

6. Dr. Dhirendra Varma, Allahabad University. 

7. Dr. D. R. Bhattacharya, Vice-Chancellor, Allahabad University. 

24th April 1950 

8. Shri Bishambar Nath Pandey, Chairman, Municipal Board, Allahabad.. 

9. Shri Hiralal Bhargava, Proprietor, Niranjan Talkies, Allahabad, 

10. Shri Gandhi, Proprietor, Palace Theatre, Allahabad. 

11. Shrimati Comolata Dutt,^ Social worker. 

12. Shri S. H. H. Rizvi, Indian National Theatre. 

13. Shri Nalin Mazumdar, Indian National Theatre. 

J4. Shri Brahma Swarup Saxena, Education Expansion Officer, U.P. 

15. Shri Puran Chandra Pandey, Additional District Magistrate, Allaha-- 


16. Shri S. B. Saran, Cinema Magistrate, Allahabad. 

17. Shri Upendranath, ‘*Ashk”, Writer, Allahabad. 

18. Shri Balbhadra Prasad Misra, Pradhan Mantri, Hindi Sahitya Sam— 

melan, Allahabad. 



U9. Shri N. C. Miikherjee, University of Allahabad. 

::20. Shri Amar Mukherjee, Educationist. 

New Delhi, 29th April to 1st May 1950. 

29th April 1950. 

1. Shri Jagat Narain Seth of Jagat Talkies, Film Distributors and Exhi- 

bitors in Delhi, President, Motion Picture Assn., Delhi. 

2. Shri Shiv Charan Das of Jagat Talkies Distributors. 

3. Shri S. D. Chitnis, Secretary, Motion Picture Association, Delhi. 

4. Shri Rajeshwar Dayal, Proprietor, Regal Theatre, New Delhi. 

5. Shri Jagan Nath of Manoranjan Pictures, Delhi. 

30th April 1950 

■6. Dr. Yudhvir Singh, President, Delhi Municipal Committee. 

7. Shri Rameshwar Dayal, P. C, S., Deputy Commissioner, Delhi. 

8. Shri Somnath Chib of All India Radio, New Delhi. 

1st May 1950 

9. Sardar B. S. Makani of the Delhi Land & Finance Co., Ltd., New Delhi." 

10. Dr. S. S. Mathur, Director of Education, Delhi Province. 

11. Shri K. P. Shunglu of All India Radio, New Delhi. 

:i2. Shri P. N. Bhatia, Special Representative, Statesman, New Delhi. 

Bombay, 20th May to 30th May 1950 
20th May 1950 

1. Shri Chandulal Shah, Shree Ranjit Movietone. 

2. Shri Chuni Lall, Filmistan Ltd. 

3. Shri C. S. Pandya, Dy, Commissioner of Police. 

4. Shri Jagmohanlal Roongta, Famous Cine Laboratories. 

5. Shri R. C. Pandya, Shree Sound Studios. 

21st May 1950 

6. Shri Babu Rao K. Pai, Famous Pictures. 

7. Shri J. P. Tewari, M. & T. Productions. 

8. Shri A. J. Patel, Film Centre. 

9. Shrimati Nalini Jayant, Film Artist. 

22nd May 1950 

10. Shri A. R. Kardar, Kardar Productions. 

11. Shri Kisohre Sahu, Hindustan Chitra. 

12. Shri Mahboob R. Khan, Mehboob Productions. 

13. Shri Mama Varerkar, Writer. 

14. Shri B. M. Tata, Sound Engineer. 

23rd May 1950 

15. Shri M, Bhavnani, Film Division, Govt, of India. 

16. Shri Rohit Dave, Indian Motion Picture Employees Union. 

17. Shri Navin Yagnik, Junior Cine Artistes Association, 

18. Shri Harish, Cine Artistes Association. 

24th May 1950. 

19. Shri S. Mukherjee, Producer-Director, Filmistan. 

:20. Shri Vijay Bhatt, Producer-Director, Prakash. 

21. Shri Navin Yagnik, Junior Cine Artistes Association. 

22. Shri Jagirdar, Producer-Director, Jagirdar Productions. 

23. Shri Prithivraj Kapoor, Film artiste. 


25th May 1950 

24. Shri Chunilal B. Desai ^formerly of Sagar Movietone). 

25. Shri Dewan Sherar. Writer. 

26. Shri Chimanlal Desai. 

27. Shri Ram L. Gogtay, Educational Films (formerly partner of Wadlff: 


28. Shrimati Shobhana Samarth, Film artiste. 

29. Shri Raj Kapoor, Film artiste.